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

2007-08 Season

Sunday, September 30th, 2007
~ 3:00 p.m. ~
Memorial Auditorium

Concert program (PDF)
Concert poster
Related Links

Concert Graphic

Sunday, September 30th, 2007
Program Notes

Leonore Overture "No. 3" in C Major, Op. 72b

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Adagio - Allegro - Presto

Written/First Performed: 1806
Also: 1840: Mendelssohn was first to program all four overtures in one concert.

It took Beethoven nine years to pen what has become the overture to his only opera "Fidelio". The path taken for the piece was as rocky and dramatic as the plot of the opera itself. Over that time period, three "Leonore" overtures were written, before the final "Fidelio Overture" was officially adopted for the opera.

The first Lenore overture was written in 1805, but after its initial screening for prince Lichnowsky, it was dropped, and not published until 1832, several years after Beethoven's death.

The second overture was presented with the premiere performance in November, 1805 - just weeks after Napoleon's occupation of Vienna. Perhaps for genuine musical reasons or that Napoleon's entourage made up a significant portion of the audience, it was considered too complex and radical for the time, and received harsh criticism.

Enter Lenore number 3. This version was extensively edited and presented in March, 1806, after the French had left Vienna. It is the most powerful of all the arrangements and very well received, due in part to its more traditional structure of the time. In fact, it was a bit too powerful, and later believed to overpower the impact of the opera itself. Currently it stands as the overture of choice for the non-operatic performances.

Finally, in 1814, Beethoven wrote the Fidelio, the fourth and final overture for the opera. It is much shorter, and oddly enough, the "accepted" version doesn't really have any musical allusions to the themes of the opera, as did the other three.

The opera is thought to have a true-to-life story of the French Revolution behind it, with the "names changed to protect the innocent". Change France to Spain, change the names... the story and moral was left to tell, without all of those akward political complications. The Spanish nobleman Florestan has been wrongfully jailed by an enemy, Don Pizarro. Lenore, Florestan's wife, disguises herself as a young man, taking the name Fidelio, and obtains a job with the jailer Rocco. Lenore manages to hold off Pizarro's plans to destroy Florestan until help arrives and he and the other political prisoners are released. Throw in the added complication of "Fidelio" catching the eye of Rocco's daughter Marzelline; you have all of the elements of a fine tale.

The opening Adagio starts with a loud chord and a slow, descending scale, to represent the prison door closing and Florestan's descent into the dungeon. His imprisonment and confusion in the dark prison is represented by the odd mix of harmonies. The Allegro middle section is full of the expected heroic action of the story. Interjected within is a trumpet fanfare, to represent the prison inspectors coming to save the day and right the wrongs. Finally, is the Presto to wrap up and insert a bit of triumph over evil.

Scored for: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, and strings. [2222-4230-tmp-str]

Trumpet Concerto in A flat major (1950)

Alexander Grigori Arutiunian (1920- )

I. Andante-Allegro energico
II. Meno mosso
III. Tempo I

Last SEKSO Performance: Apr. 4th, 1999
Written In: 1950

The Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra was the sixth major composition written by the Armenian composer and pianist Arutunian. It was written in 1950 for the renowned trumpet player Timofei Dokschitzer who wrote the cadenza that is traditionally performed. This work is one of the most accepted and more traditionally played concertos for trumpet in the competition circuit along with the Hayden, Hummel, and Tomasi. It is a flashy piece that exhibits the trumpet virtuosity unlike any other with if fast and slow passages alike, testing the performers range, tone, endurance, and technique. This concerto is often associated with the Armenian genocide that took place early in the 20th century when the majority of the Armenian people were massacred.

The opening fanfare in the style of ad libitum acts as a prologue, setting up the saga that is to follow. The first Allegro march is presented as fight song for the Armenian people, strong yet desperate as it progresses into the first slow movement. This section is depictive of the beautiful Armenian culture as the lush harmony and lyrical melody passes between the trumpet and the accompaniment. This is broken by the next fast section where the massacre begins. It is mostly frantic but with a short lullaby as if a grandmother tries to soothe a crying child in order to save its life. Suddenly a loud crescendo cuts this off and leads to the final near-screaming note of the trumpet. The next slow section is one of weeping, weeping for those lost in the genocide, even recalling a bit of the earlier lullaby with sobbing rhythms in the accompaniment. Then there is a shift back to the major key and the first theme, a dedication to change and to making a difference in the world and a resolution that this story never be forgotten. Finally it ends with a two-beat triplet and final note crying "NEV-ER FOR-GET!"

-AJM

Scored for: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, percussion, timpani, harp, and strings. [2[1.2/pic]222-4231-tmp+3-hp-str]


A. J. Metzger

A. J. Metzger, trumpet

Aaron Metzger, a native of Pittsburg, Kansas, began playing trumpet at the age of 12, and it soon became his passion. He began studying with Dr. Todd Hastings, Associate Professor of Trumpet at Pittsburg State University, at the age of 16 and went on to pursue a degree in Trumpet Performance at PSU. During his college career, Aaron has been an avid performer, playing first trumpet with the PSU Wind Ensemble, the Southeast Kansas Symphony, and the PSU Student Brass Quintet, as well as performing with the PSU Jazz Band and occasionally with the PSU Faculty Brass Quintet. Aaron, along with the PSU Trumpet Ensemble, performed at the International Trumpet Guild in 2007 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, premiering Fanfare Festivo by the international recording artist Allen Vizzutti. Aaron and the ensemble were also semi-finalists at the National Trumpet Competition at the University of Fairfax, Virginia, also in 2007, premiering Dr. John Ross's (PSU) For Five, composed for the group.

Aaron has also performed as an extra for the Ft. Smith Symphony, Fort Smith, Arkansas. Aside from studying with Dr. Hastings, Aaron has studied with Chip Schutza of the Kansas City Symphony and has performed in master classes with Allen Vizzutti, Raymond Crisara (Professor Emiritus, University of Texas at Austin), and Vince DiMartino (international trumpet soloist). Aaron was a finalist in the Northeast Arkansas Symphony Concerto Competition in January 2007 just before winning the Southeast Kansas Symphony Concerto Competition. After graduating this spring, Aaron plans to further his education by pursuing a Master's Degree in Trumpet Performance at an eastern college.

Symphony no 8 in B minor, D. 759 "The Unfinished"

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante con moto

Last SEKSO Performance: April 6th, 2003
Written In: 1822
First Performed: 1865

In spite of the fact that the B-minor symphony has become, almost mythically, the unfinished symphony, Schubert started 13 symphonies and completed only seven of them. In fact, he left many "unfinished" works in every area, distracted by another, better opportunity, or simply when other ideas came to mind. Nevertheless, in his short lifetime (he actually died at a younger age than Mozart) he produced over one thousand cataloged works. Unfinished works by major composers are not unheard of; Mahler and Bruckner are but two composers with unfinished symphonies. Peter Schickele even wrote an "Unbegun Symphony", he was simply born too late to write the first two movements?

The B-minor symphony was started in the fall of 1822, and set aside the next spring when Schubert turned his attention to another work. Two movements had been completed and sketches for the third begun. Schubert had just been made an honorary member of the Styrian Music Society in Graz, one of the few honors received in his lifetime. Included with a letter of appreciation to the Society was an I.O.U. of sorts, the promise of a symphony as a token of his gratitude. Later that year, a manuscript was given to Josef Hüttenbrenner, whose brother Anselm was a member of the Society.

Anselm never sent the score on to the Society, perhaps because it was only the two movements. He held it for 40 years, only mentioning its existence in passing in a biographical dictionary. It was in this source that a Schubert biographer, Heinrich Kreissle von Hellborn discovered its existence. When if finally surfaced for a Vienna performance in 1865, the audience quickly recognized the melodic treatments as those of "Schubert!"

The first movement, Allegro moderato, opens from the deep, dark recesses of the low strings, flowing into a melody of oboe and clarinet over the agitations of the violin section. This tension melts away into one of the most recognized melodies of Classical/Romantic literature, brought forth by the cello section. A series of pizzicato notes in the strings introduce the development section of the movement.

The second movement, Andante con moto is a bit more serene, the principal melody introduced by the upper strings and the secondary by the clarinet and oboe. Beginning E Major, this movement takes side trips into C# and A minor before returning to the opening key for a peaceful finish.

The argument that the two movements were written to stand alone, not needing a third of fourth, seems a bit thin. Perhaps it's believable after more than a century of hearing the work stand on the merits of the two movements. Could we have said the same of Beethoven's ninth symphony, if he had only written two movements? Several attempts have been made others to 'finish' the piece, the most successful using the available sketches of the third movement, followed by the B minor entr'acte incidental music from Rosamunde, however it is almost always performed as "the symphony that Schubert wrote, but never finished".

Scored for: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, and strings. [2222-2230-tmp-str]

"Farandole" from L'Arlésienne, Suite No. 2

Georges Bizet (1838-1875)

First Published In: 1879
L'Arlésienne: trans. "The Woman from Arles"

In 1872, Bizet finished the incidental music to Alphonse Daudte's play, "The Girl from Arles". True to fashion, the play wasn't that well received, however the music helped put Bizet in the upper echelons of French composers. The classic opera "Carmen", written a few years later, helped a bit, too.

Two Orchestral Suites were developed from the melodies; the first by Bizet himself, the second was arranged by his friend Ernest Guiraud in 1879, four years after the composer's death.

The Farandole is a traditional French peasant dance, similar to a tarantella, or gavotte, the last of four movements that make up the Suite. Both themes are easily recognizable by concertgoers, the opening theme an arrangement of "The March of the Three Kings" ("La Marche des Rois"). Both themes are played back and forth until the end, where they blend together for the final completion.

Scored for: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, percussion, timpani, harp, and strings. [2[1.2/pic]222-44[2tpt, 2crt]30-tmp+1-hp-str]

Related Links

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Alexander Grigorevich Arutiunian (1920- )

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Georges Alexandre César Léopold Bizet (1838-1875)