the_best_buy-300x112 All Concerts are on Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center
15550 N. Parkview Place, Surprise, AZ 85374

WVS Administration: (623) 236-6781

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Click Here to Download the 2018 – 2019 Season Brochure and Ticket Order Form

April 7, 2019
50th Anniversary
Celebration Concert

We are celebrating the West Valley Symphony’s 50th anniversary by performing a portion of the very first concert the orchestra played in 1968. Anna Han returns to dazzle us with her artistry as soloist in the Grieg Piano

The Barber of Seville Overture
Gioacchino Rossini
Symphony No. 35, K385, (Haffner Symphony)
Wolfgang Mozart
Piano Concerto in A minor, Anna Han, soloist
Edvard Grieg

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PROGRAM NOTES

Of the 39 operas written by Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868), only a few – The Barber of Seville, Cinderella, and William Tell – appear with any frequency on stages these days. But that can’t be said of the overtures; many of them are quite popular and appear on concerts regularly. It’s not hard to hear why: they are marvels of composition with fine tunes, brilliant orchestration, and infectious rhythmic vitality.

Rossini wasn’t the first composer to write an opera called The Barber of Seville. Giovanni Paisiello wrote his version in 1782, and Nicolas Isouard wrote another version in 1796. Rossini’s version was written in the space of two weeks in 1816. It was poorly received at its premiere, due to the audience’s loyalty to Paisiello’s work, and also from a number of catastrophic staging disasters. But soon it caught on, and became a world-wide sensation. The overture has absolutely nothing to do with the opera, since it was actually written for another opera, Aureliano in Palmira, in 1813. Many of us learned this vivacious music not in the concert hall, but from the Warner Bros. cartoon The Rabbit of Seville. It also was used extensively in the Beatle’s film Help!

The Mozart family counted the wealthy merchant and one-time Salzburg Burgomaster Sigmund Haffner among their friends. In exchange for the interest that he took in the young composer, Haffner felt that when his household celebrated a special occasion, the young Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791) should provide the music. In July, 1782, the Haffners needed music for an event and the busy Mozart was asked to provide something quickly. Within a week a first movement was shipped off with some complaints about the speed with which he had to write and with the promise of “the two minuets, the andante, and the last movement, on Wednesday, the 31st. If I am able I will send a march, too.” On August 7, the march was sent with the comment: “I only hope that it will arrive in time and be to your liking.” Thus the work, which was cast in the form of an instrumental serenade, was completed in less than two weeks, and promptly forgotten by Mozart.

Six months later, when he was setting up a program for a concert of his music to be played on March 22, 1783, Mozart sent for his manuscript in order to recast it as a symphony. He remarked to his father: “The new Haffner Symphony has astonished me very much; I didn’t remember a single note of it.” So the Serenade became a symphony by dropping the march and one of the minuets, and played before the Emperor and to a crowded house with great success. “What gratified me most,” Mozart wrote his father, “was the presence of the Emperor, who applauded me loud and long. “

Edvard Grieg (1843–1907) was by nature a miniaturist. His musical gifts were ideally suited to short pieces for piano, songs, and shorter orchestral works. His rhapsodic nature didn’t function well within the larger musical structure of the symphony or concerto. Hence, he left very little large-scaled music. Paradoxically, the work for which he is best known in the concert hall is one of those large works: the Piano Concerto in A minor. He composed it in 1868. Its musical viewpoint is typically nineteenth-century Romantic, with a good amount of Brahms and Schumann thrown in.

The concerto was dedicated to pianist Edmund Neupart who first played it in Copenhagen on April 3, 1869. After the premier, the Neupart wrote to Grieg “On Saturday your divine Concerto resounded in the great hall of the Casino. The triumph I achieved was tremendous. Even as early as the cadenza in the first movement the public broke into a real storm. The three dangerous critics, Gade, Rubinstein and Hartmann, sat in the stalls and applauded with all their might. I am to send you greeting from Rubinstein and say that he is astounded to have heard a composition of such genius…”

-Marty Haub

 

All Concerts are on Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
at Valley Vista Performing Arts Center
15550 N. Parkview Place, Surprise, AZ 85374

the_best_buy-300x112


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