Beethoven extravaganza planned Dec. 7 at USD �? �? �? The Rawlins Piano Trio will highlight a free concert of the USD Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2:30 p.m. in Colton Recital Hall in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.�? The trio is composed of Susan Keith Gray, piano; John Thomson, violin; and Marie-Elaine Gagnon, cello; all faculty members in the USD Department of Music.�? The trio, which recently returned from a tour of Panama, will be the soloists in the Beethovenâ�?�?s Triple Concerto, Op. 56, the composerâ�?�?s only concerto to feature more than one instrument.�? A wonderful example of Beethovenâ�?�?s heroic middle period, the work features noble themes presented by each instrumentalist alternating roles as soloist, in duet, or trio, all accompanied by an orchestration marked by some of Beethovenâ�?�?s most inspired writing. The German poet, playwright, and novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, was once asked to name the person with the finest mind he had encountered over his long life.�? He answered, â�?�?Beethoven.â�?�? Considering the many philosophers, scientists, and literary figures with whom he had had contact, his answer was as surprising then as it is now. Vermillion area concertgoers will have the chance to confirm Goetheâ�?�?s judgment when the USD Symphony Orchestra presents this all-Beethoven concert.�? �? �? �? �? After the Triple Concerto the orchestra, conducted by Rick Rognstad, will perform Beethovenâ�?�?s Seventh Symphony, Op. 92.�? It was completed in 1812 and premiered the next year at a benefit concert for soldiers conducted by Beethoven himself.�? Many of the most prominent musicians in Vienna participated, including Johann Hummel, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Louis Spohr, and double bass virtuoso Domenico Dragonetti.�? Of the latter Beethoven remarked that he â�?�?played with great fire and expressive power.â�?�? Spohr described Beethovenâ�?�?s conducting thus: â�?�?as a sforzando occurred, he tore his arms with a great vehemence asunder … at the entrance of a forte he jumped in the air." The second movement, believed by some to be the most sublime music in existence, was encored at this first concert, and Richard Wagner described the finale as â�?�?the Apotheosis of the dance.â�?�? Less glowing reviews were tendered by Carl Maria von Weber who considered some parts of it as evidence that Beethoven was â�?�?ripe for the madhouse,â�? and conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, who commented, â�?�?What can you do with it?�? Itâ�?�?s like a lot of yaks jumping about.â�? �? �? �? Vermillion audiences are invited to decide on the symphonyâ�?�?s merits for themselves this Sunday.�? This event is partially sponsored by a generous donation from First Bank & Trust. �?
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