The Barnett & Company Masterworks Series opens with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 (Titan), and continues with Poulenc’s Gloria with the CSO Chorus, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (with guest violinist Soovin Kim), and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. During the Orchestra’s 85th Anniversary, the CSO is also celebrating the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein (Frank Almond, Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony, performs Bernstein’s Serenade), and the 125th anniversary of Tchaikovsky’s death (pianist Geoffrey Duce performs Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2).
Other highlights include Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger Cello Concerto (from the movie soundtrack Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) with guest cellist Benjamin Karp. Guest pianist and Lee University faculty member Cahill Smith performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22. Kristen Holritz, CSO Principal Flute, performs Nielsen’s Flute Concerto. CSO Music Director Kayoko Dan conducts six concerts with one concert guest conducted by Timothy Muffitt (Music Director of the Baton Rouge Symphony). All concerts are performed at the Tivoli Theatre. Subscriptions start at $126 for all seven concerts. Children 17 and under can attend for free with a paid adult.
BRITTEN: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
TAN DUN: Crouching Tiger Concerto
MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 (The Titan)
“This is one of most powerful pieces we perform as Horn players. At one point Mahler wants us to make, and I quote ‘the greatest possible noise’ so we all stand up. At times we can play very, very quietly but at this point hold onto your hat!” – Gordon James, CSO Principal Horn
Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is a treat for all ages (and watch out, you may learn something).
Tan Dunn’s Crouching Tiger Concerto for Cello, a concert work based on Tan’s Oscar-winning score for Ang Lee’s Oscar-Winning Film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, bridges the gap between East and West. Our guest artist Benjamin Karp, from the University of Kentucky, performs this powerful piece.
Although Mahler referred to his 1st Symphony as The Titan only twice, with more than 100 musicians on stage, we think it’s a very deserving title.
RACHMANINOFF: Symphonic Dances
“Poulenc was a deep and emotional guy. The death of the love of his life changed him significantly. But even though he had a shift in focus, his music never changes from its original cheerfulness.” Darrin Hassevoort, Director, CSO Chorus
After a personal tragedy and resulting religious experience, Poulenc returned to Catholicism and began writing sacred works. His celebrated Gloria, written during this emotional time, is performed by the CSO and the CSO Chorus. Although a sacred work, this piece has been called playful and even theatrical.
One of the greatest pianists of all time, Rachmaninoff composed his “Symphonic Dances” after a long break from composing and a move from Europe to the US.
FALLA: Three Cornered Hat, Suite No. 2
VIVALDI: The Four Seasons
The Three Cornered Hat is a ballet based on a story that has all the makings of daytime drama: a jealous miller, his beautiful young wife, and a lecherous politician. You’ll hear music from the 2nd Act of this ballet.
The Four Seasons by Vivaldi is so popular there are more than 200 recordings for sale, and it has shown up in movies and TV more than 80 times. The definition of ‘every piece of music was once modern music,’ when it premiered in 1725; the audience was polarized. Half said it was crazy modern music; the other half said it was the way of the future. Guest artist and violinist Soovin Kim performs with the CSO.
In the ballet Petrushka, Stravinsky takes us again to the dramatic. A trickster and clown, Petrushka gets in between a bad-boy nemesis and a beautiful ballerina. With characters, story, and music created by Stravinsky, the audience raved about the piece after the opening in 1911.
WAGNER: Overture to Tannhäuser
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22
PROKOFIEV: Lieutenant Kije Suite
KORNGOLD: Overture to Sea Hawk
Kayoko Dan and the musicians of the CSO take you to the movies! The overture to Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser appears in more than 20 movies from the 1947 Burt Lancaster movie Brute Force to the more recent The People vs. Larry Flint.
Mozart is no stranger to the big screen, and the CSO is joined by Lee University Piano Faculty member Cahill Smith to perform the Piano Concerto No. 22.
Lieutenant Kije, a Russian movie from the ‘30s, is all about how to get promoted without really trying – a bit of a satire on bureaucracy. Prokofiev wrote the music for the movie and then turned it into a Symphonic Suite. And who can resist a swashbuckler with Errol Flynn? We certainly couldn’t so we’re performing Korngold’s The Sea Hawk Overture.
GRIEG: Lyric Suite
NIELSEN: Flute Concerto
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 5
Grieg’s Lyric Suite, a beautiful, moving piece by the Norwegian composer, is first up on this concert. CSO’s own Principal Flute, Kristen Holritz, performs Nielsen’s Flute Concerto. Nielsen wrote the piece specifically for the flute player in the Copenhagen Wind Quintet. The piece is known for beautiful combinations of musical dialogue between the flute and the clarinet, bass trombone, timpani or full orchestra. Swans were the inspiration for Sibelius’ 5th Symphony. In his diary, he wrote, “Today I saw 16 swans. God, what beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a silver ribbon.” The majestic, exhilarating and poignant piece showcases Sibelius’ deepening connection between music and nature.
TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 2
PROKOFIEV: Suite from Romeo and Juliet
We couldn’t have presented a more romantic, perfect-date-night performance than Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and the Suite from Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev. Timothy Muffit, Music Director of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, guest conducts the CSO. Scottish pianist Geoffrey Duce from the University of Indiana South Bend is our returning guest artist and will perform the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto.
BORODIN: Polovtsian Dances
BERLIOZ: Symphonie Fantastique
Alexander Borodin was unable to finish his Opera, Prince Igor, but his friends (Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov) stepped in and finished it for him in time for an 1890’s premiere. The CSO and CSO Chorus perform the energetic and rhythm-driven Polovtsian Dances from the opera.
Serenade lets us know that Bernstein was a musical authority in the concert hall as well as on Broadway. Violinist Frank Almond, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, takes on what Orrin Howard, former director of publications at the LA Philharmonic calls ‘the athletic and expressive violinistics’ of the piece.
After seeing Irish actress Harriet Smithson in a Shakespeare play, Berlioz became consumed with writing his Symphonie Fantastique to gain her attention. After a very unusual proposal they married in 1833. Phillip Huscher, in his program notes for the piece for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, said, “At the premiere, Berlioz himself was on stage—playing in the percussion section, as he often liked to do—to witness the audience cheering and stomping in excitement at the end.”