Thomson featured in Dec. 6 concert

Thomson featured in Dec. 6 concert Violinist John Thomson of The University of South Dakota music faculty and Rawlins Piano Trio, will be featured in the USD Symphony Orchestra's concert on Monday, Dec. 6.

The free concert will be at 8 p.m. in Slagle Auditorium on the USD campus.

Thomson, who is widely known and respected throughout the region, will play one of the most popular of all violin concertos, that by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The work, completed in 1904, has proven to be one of the mainstays of the violin and orchestral repertoires.

In contrast to many earlier concerti, Sibelius chose to write counter melodies, often scored for woodwinds, which create a complex texture and ultimately very satisfying work in which the solo violinist alternately assumes the roles of soloist, chamber player and accompanist.

The orchestra will also play Penderecki's Threnody and Joseph Haydn's Farewell Symphony.

Not his last symphony by any means (it is number 45 of more than 100), it was actually a musical hint to Haydn's longtime employer, Prince Nicholas. The Esterhazy estate, in what is now Hungary, was in the country, and while the prince loved his summers there, the living conditions for the servants, including the musicians, were far less comfortable. The quarters were unheated and cramped and many could not take their families with them.

In the fall of 1772, when this work was created, Prince Nicholas stayed even longer than usual. The servants approached Haydn, one of Esterhazy's most valued employees, to ask his help in getting the prince to return to Vienna.

Haydn's entreaty was musical. He appended an Adagio to the end of the final movement in which each section of the orchestra played a solo, blew out their candles, and left the stage. The prince took the hint well, and soon all returned to Vienna.

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