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The Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra
Raul Munguia - Artistic Director & Conductor

2005-06 Season

Sunday, April 9th, 2006
~ 3:00 p.m. ~
Memorial Auditorium

Concert program (PDF)
Concert poster
Related Links

Concert Graphic

"The Art of Mozart"
April 9th, 2006
Program Notes

Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio, K. 384

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Presto

Completed In: 1782
German: Die Entführung aus dem Serail

The Abduction from the Seraglio is a comic opera in three acts, the libretto is by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner. The plot deals with an attempt by the hero Belmonte, with the help of his servant Pedrillo, to rescue his fiancé Konstanze from the seraglio (living quarters of wives and concubines in the Turkish home) of the Pasha Selim.

The opera was first performed on July 16, 1782 for the Austrian emperor Joseph II in the Burgtheater in Vienna and was a success, establishing Mozart's reputation in Vienna after moving there from his native Salzburg the year before.

The opera is in the form of a singspiel, or, the story is carried along primarily by spoken word, not sung recitatives. It is lighthearted and plays on Turkish stereotypes held in Vienna, its location made it a primary stronghold against the Ottoman Turks for two centuries. Much of the music includes percussive instruments employed by Turkish Janissary bands; bass drum, cymbals, and triangle. Haydn implemented this technique quite well in his "Military" symphony.

The Overture utilizes a combination of Turkish themes and standard European treatment to establish the mood for the opera. It opens with the cellos and violins and expands quickly to the full orchestra using sudden bursts of excitement, interwoven with abrupt "quiet" sections that add to a feeling of comic secrecy. The wild finish, in true Mozart fashion, leaves you expecting an evening of operatic entertainment.

Scored for: flute, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, and strings. [1[1/pic]222-2230-tmp-str]


Danica Robbins, guest conductor

Danica Robbins, guest conductor

Danica Robins is currently pursing her master's degree in instrumental music education from Pittsburg State University, which she will complete this semester. She holds a bachelor of music education degree with an emphasis in bassoon, also from PSU. In her second year of teaching, she is the string orchestra teacher at Pittsburg Community Middle School. Danica also plays in the SEK Symphony.

Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major, K. 453

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

I. Allegro

Last SEKSO Performance: date
Completed In: 1784
First Performance: date

After resigning from his court position with the Archbishop of Salzburg in May of 1781, Mozart made what had originally been a temporary move to Vienna permanent and began working as a freelance performer, teacher, and composer. From letters to his father concerning the number of concert subscribers that Mozart had in the following years (which were soon far greater those of any other Viennese pianist of the time), we know that Mozart had become the most popular pianist in the city by the year 1784. As a performer, Mozart was constantly in need of new material to present to his public, so it is no surprise that this year would see the composer produce a particularly large quantity of concert pieces, including six piano concertos.

The fourth of these, his Concerto in G major, however, was not written for Mozart to perform himself, but rather reminds us of the occasional works that he composed for commission during this year. Completed on April 10 of 1784, this was the second concerto that Mozart would write for one of his favorite pupils, Barbara von Ployer, daughter of the Salzburg Court Agent in Vienna, Gottfried Ignaz von Ployer.

Miss Ployer (or "Babette" as she was called) was already quite an accomplished musician (she studied piano and composition with Mozart, and Haydn would later write his F minor piano variations for her), and Mozart's writing for her, although perhaps less technically demanding, is in no way inferior to the concertos that he intended for himself. In fact, we find that quite the opposite is true. This concerto is considered unique among Mozart's piano concertos in that it achieves the highest level of musical quality throughout the piece, each movement being excellent by its own standards. This concerto also differs from many of his others, as pointed out by musicologist C. M. Gridlestone, in that the work as a whole is not permeated by one particular mood or character. Here we find unexpected shifts in harmony (without warning major changes to minor, or we find ourselves in such distant keys as E♭ Major) as well as a wealth of musical material, reflecting not a single state of mind, but rather something closer to reality, in which our thoughts flow one into another. As Girdlestone put it, much of this movement "hesitates...between laughter and tears." Mozart himself seems to have been particularly proud of this concerto and invited the famous Italian opera composer Giovanni Paisiello to attend its premiere in June, hoping to show off both his new concerto as well as his student, Miss Ployer.

Scored for: flute, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, and strings. [1202-2000-str]


Scott Sternberger, piano

Scott Sternberger, piano

Scott Sternberger graduated from Pittsburg State University in 2005, earning bachelor's degrees in both Piano Performance and Spanish Education. An accomplished pianist, Mr. Sternberger has been the recipient of numerous musical prizes and awards, including the Treble Clef Scholarship award (2001-2005) and the Priscilla Schrag Music Student of the Year Award (2005), as well as placing in competitions at both the state and national levels. In 2001, Mr. Sternberger was a winner of the SEK Concerto/Aria Competition with his performance of Haydn's Piano Concerto in D, Hob. XVIII:11, a competition which he won again in 2004, earning him today's performance of Mozart's Concerto in G, K.453. Mr. Sternberger has studied with Dr. Reena Berger since 2000, and is currently a Lecturer of Spanish in the PSU Modern Languages and Literatures Department.

Concerto for Bassoon in B flat, K. 191 (186e)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

II. Andante ma Adagio
III. Rondo Tempo di Menuetto

Last SEKSO Performance: November 17th, 1996
First Performed: June 4, 1774 in Salzburg

First performed June 4, 1774 in Salzburg, Mozart's bassoon concerto is the only one of three for the instrument that survives today, and is a standard for any performer on the instrument. The concerto was written when he was only 18, one of Mozart's first concertos for solo instrument, piano excluded, and believed to be commissioned for a bassoonist in the court orchestra of Prince-Archbishop Colleredo of Salzburg. It calls for two oboes, two horns and strings.

The first movement is a standard sonata form (Allegro), the second movement, Andante ma Adagio, begins in F major with an opening of muted strings. This sets the stage for the soloist, entering with one of the best loved melodies for the instrument written to that time. The full range of the instrument is featured in this movement. In many concerti of the time, the second movement was usually reserved for soloist and strings, but Mozart uses other instruments, primarily oboes in support and also in conjunction with the solo melodies.

In contrast to the second movement, the final Rondo Tempo di Menuetto is the performer's chance to show off the brisk, jovial nature of the instrument. The third movement starts off at a brisk pace by the orchestra and, almost as an afterthought the soloist comes in to begin variations providing the audience with a clear look at the range and capabilities of both the instrument and the performer.

Scored for: 2 oboes, 2 horns, and strings. [0200-2000-str]


Russell Jones, bassoon

Russell Jones, bassoon

Russell Jones received a B.A. degree from Duke University ,and M.M.E. and Ph.D degrees from Indiana University. He taught band, chorus, and general music in the North Carolina public schools prior to his graduate work. He has been at Pittsburg State University since receiving his doctorate. His duties at Pittsburg State include teaching Instrumental Music Education, bassoon, Woodwind Techniques, and some graduate courses. In addition to bassoon, he continues to be an active performer on clarinet, saxophone, oboe and English horn. He has performed with the Southeast Kansas Symphony, the Springfield Symphony, the Northeast Arkansas Symphony, the Fayetteville (N.C) Symphony, the Iola Symphony, the PSU Band, as well as bands and orchestras at Indiana University and Duke University . He continues to be an active performer in chamber music, jazz, musical theater, large ensemble, and as a soloist. He recently performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto, K.191, with the SEK Symphony.

His teachers have included Leonard Sharrow (NBC Symphony and Chicago Symphony), Wilfred Roberts (Dallas Symphony), Roy Houser (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Eric Barr (Dallas Symphony), Earl Bates, Allan Bone, and Charles Veazy. He has attended summer camps in oboe with John Mack and Joseph Robinson. He has published articles in "The Instrumentalist," "The Journal of Research in Music Education," "The Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education," and "The Midwest Double Reed Society Newsletter."

Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K.551 "Jupiter"

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

I. Allegro vivace
II. Andante cantabile
III. Menuetto: Allegretto - Trio
IV. Molto allegro

Last SEKSO Performance: October 4th, 1998
Completed In: 1788

Mozart wrote his final three symphonies during the summer of 1788 over a short six- week period. It's doubtful that he assigned the title to this work; he probably didn't even hear it performed, but it does express the grand scope of the piece, the largest, most complex, and perhaps jovial symphony of them all. Just as Brahms' first symphony has been dubbed "Beethoven's Tenth", Mozart's final symphony was finished just a decade before Beethoven's First and helped pave the way for the new master. An effort was made to push the boundaries of the day, intertwining five melodies at once in the final movement.

The first movement, Allegro vivace, opens in with two bars of a grand tutti, followed by one of Mozart's trademark hushed operatic whispers. This plays back and forth until the flute and oboe muster the courage to come in and begin expanding the theme. The development and recapitulation plays on this exchange of winds and strings at the whim of the composer's sense of humor.

The second movement, Andante cantabile, opens darkly and quietly, even though in F major, the melody in the upper strings, echoed by the lower and interspersed with exclamations by the full orchestra. Haydn implemented this melody into his 98th symphony upon hearing of his death.

The Menuetto is fun and light, the Trio again giving a glimpse of Mozart's youthful irreverence, it 'opens with an ending', using a number of final cadence chords.

Finally, the fourth movement, Molto allegro, wastes no time. To German audiences, this symphony was known as "the one with the fugue", but it is actually a sonata form with fugato sections. The development is dominated by the main theme of the exposition; the recap is somewhat shortened and simplified. This all gives way to the infamous grand fugato of the Coda that is built on all five themes. Stated, restated, inverted, combined, and given to each register, each timbre. All things come together to make this one of the most memorable moments in all of the works of this celebrated composer.

The first movement, Allegro vivace, opens in with two bars of a grand tutti, followed by one of Mozart's trademark hushed operatic whispers. This plays back and forth until the flute and oboe muster the courage to come in and begin expanding the theme. The development and recapitulation plays on this exchange of winds and strings at the whim of the composer's sense of humor.

The second movement, Andante cantabile, opens darkly and quietly, even though in F major, the melody in the upper strings, echoed by the lower and interspersed with exclamations by the full orchestra. Haydn implemented this melody into his 98th symphony upon hearing of his death. The Menuetto is fun and light, the Trio again giving a glimpse of Mozart's youthful irreverence, it 'opens with an ending', using a number of final cadence chords.

Finally, the fourth movement, Molto allegro, wastes no time. To German audiences, this symphony was known as "the one with the fugue", but it is actually a sonata form with fugato sections. The development is dominated by the main theme of the exposition; the recap is somewhat shortened and simplified. This all gives way to the infamous grand fugato of the Coda that is built on all five themes. Stated, restated, inverted, combined, and given to each register, each timbre. All things come together to make this one of the most memorable moments in all of the works of this celebrated composer.

Scored for: flute, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings. [1202-2200-tmp-str]

Related Links

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

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