Summer “Music Musing”

Punch Howarth

With SASO in recess until fall, I will relate my musical activities for the summer. In my own listening it has been mostly large works, which means big orchestra and lengthy. Starting with Shostakovich there is his Ninth Symphony followed by his greatest, the Tenth that freed him from Stalin’s shadow. Mahler’s Sixth and Ninth took some time. Like Beethoven and Brahms, these are works to go over and over. Dvorak’s Symphonies 5, 6 and 7 offered some respite as they always bring a smile with their Slavic excitement. What’s to come? Probably some Prokofiev, Beethoven and who knows.

I am designing a new class to teach for The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) at SaddleBrooke in the fall. Featuring 20th Century Russian composers, the six classes will include diverse compositions of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. All of these composers represent development started by Tsar Peter the Great to Europeanize backward Russia. The classes will include well known works along with some surprises. Watch the papers for all ILR classes.

Another activity starting this summer, I will be teaching classes at four senior retirement facilities in the Tucson area. These classes will be repeats of those that I presented at SaddleBrooke for ILR.

In future articles this summer, SASO music director Linus Lerner’s summer activities will be reviewed. There will be a preview of next season’s concerts and a peek at the soloists appearing with the orchestra. For comments about these articles go to Punch at [email protected] and for orchestra information go to