February SASO event

Punch Howarth

Works by Beethoven, Dvorak and von Suppe will be on the program by the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra in its 2015 opening concert. Conducted by Maestro Linus Lerner, this program will be presented in Green Valley: Friday, February 20, at Valley Presbyterian Church at 7:00 p.m.; SaddleBrooke on Saturday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m. at DesertView Performing Arts Auditorium; Sunday, February 22, at 3:00 p.m. in Oro Valley at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

This popular program features three 19th Century well-known greats with Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major, the “Triple Concerto,” Symphony No. 8 in G major by Dvorak and opening the concert is von Suppe’s Light Cavalry Overture. This is a work sometimes called mistakenly Light Calvary instead of Cavalry. The work opens with a broad military brass introduction in four-time followed by a short-fast second theme. Next comes the famous gallop theme in two-time, which winds down with two holds. The fourth theme is a moderate tranquil intermezzo and is followed by a repeat of the cavalry charge music, which incidentally has been used for years in cartoons and commercials for a big finale.

Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 in G major is in the usual four movements. His symphonies 6-7-8 are his famous Slavic symphonies and are just as exciting to hear as they are to perform. The 8th opens Allegro con brio (fast with energy) in four-time. There is no introduction, and we hear the first theme in winds and celli. There are several themes which follow sonata form, but the themes which are Slavic are not actual folk melodies. This holds true in all four movements. This movement ends with a 23-measure coda finale. Movement Two, adagio (quite slow) in 2/4 time taken in four, opens with a swelling introduction in C minor that leads to the 2nd theme. There is impressive development and a big ending that tails off to a quiet resolution.

Allegretto grazioso (sparingly fast) marks the Third movement and is in 3/8 time taken in one. The music feels like a waltz more than an expected scherzo. The form is ABA with a trio. The rhythm in places is off the beat Slavic. There is a very fast coda in 2/4 time in one with full forces and a soft off the beat final chord. A military fanfare introduction opens the 4th movement ending with a short timpani cadenza. This rondo movement is exciting and has an abrupt ending.

For information about the orchestra, soloists, tickets and membership, go to the orchestra web site: www.sasomusic.org.