USD Orchestra to play Beethoven

The USD Symphony Orchestra will give a free concert on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Colton Recital Hall, the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. The concert will feature Beethoven's First Symphony.

Beethoven did not rush to come forth with his first symphony, letting his early impressions in Vienna be made by chamber music, piano sonatas, piano trios, string quartets, and other works. When it came, premiered in 1800, Beethoven's fifth year in Vienna, it created controversy. The critics were not convinced that a symphony in C major could or should begin with a chord containing a B-flat (definitely not a note in the C major scale), intoning that a symphony should begin with the tonic. 

The composer answered the critics with the beginning of his second symphony, in D Major, which he begins with every instrument playing D fortissimo. While it owes much to the form established by his teacher, Haydn, one can hear the impetus to push the limits of the classical style and mentality in the sudden and extreme dynamic contrasts, abrupt modulations, and rapid tempi that abound throughout the work.

The orchestra will also perform what many critics feel is the most sublime piece ever written: the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. This beautiful work was broadcast over radio after the assassination of President Kennedy and has been used in the soundtracks of numerous movies, including Platoon and The Elephant Man. 

The concert will also feature the world premiere of a new work, The Sikinnis of Marsyas, by Colorado native Arpad Brolov. A sikinnis is a dance of the mythical satyrs, and Marsyas was a satyr noted for his performance on the aulos, or double flute/oboe. 

For more information contact Rick Rognstad, 677-5722.

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