Omaha Symphony Showcases Mendelssohn
May 8th, 2014
Omaha, NE — Itâ€™s a weekend packed with flowing melodies and violent emotions.[audio:https://kvnonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/mend-web.mp3]
The next Omaha Symphony program is this weekend and opens with the â€œOverture to A Midsummer Nightâ€™s Dreamâ€ by a young Felix Mendelssohn. Guest conductor David Hill says that Mendelssohn was a child prodigy to rival Mozart.
â€œThis is an extraordinary gift mankind for a 17-year-old,â€ Hill said.
Next on the program is the â€œViolin Concertoâ€, also by Mendelssohn. Hill says that right from the first notes, melodies pour out of the violin.
â€œBut what does he do? He just gives the orchestra, strings only a bar-and-a-half of *sings* what is gonna happen? Suddenly, here comes the soloist with this soaring, marvelous melody,â€ Hill said.
Hill points out the genius of Mendelssohn is not just in the melodies, but in the way the concerto is put together.
â€œThe unique aspect of this pieces is the way he ties in all three movements,â€ Hill said. â€œThat he does so brilliantly, presumably not because he wanted to stop the audience coughing between all the movements, maybe, who knows? But also because he had a really clear intention, and make sure people were wrapped by it the whole time.â€
Also on the program is the â€œSymphony No. 1â€ of British composer William Walton. Maestro Hill says it was written after the disastrous end of a relationship.
â€œItâ€™s all about a love affair that has gone wrong, I mean seriously wrong: tempestuous, turbulent, whatever you want to describe it,â€ he said. â€œThis was something that he was absolutely distraught by. He was a very angry person over it. So he pour this whole thing out in music, and that was the only thing he could do.â€
That anger and intensity leads to some incredibly difficult music to perform. While the first movement bears the brunt of Waltonâ€™s drive, the second matches it in emotional content.
â€œThe second movement is a scherzo, and he says â€˜con malitzioneâ€™, â€˜with malice,â€™â€ Hill said.
With the third movement, Waltonâ€™s animosity gives way to remorse.
â€œThis music is so flowing, beautiful, melodic, and deeply moving – that is the moment of regret,â€ he said.
Originally Walton only completed three movements. His friends encouraged him to write a fourth, which he did after entering a new, happier relationship. However, the fourth movement still has echoes of the earlier turmoil.
â€œSibelius 5, and the sort of hammer blows at the end,â€ he said. â€œYou donâ€™t quite know when itâ€™s going to end, youâ€™re sitting at the edge of your seat, thinking, â€˜when is this going to end?â€™, and I think itâ€™s just a reminderâ€¦â€
The Omaha Symphonyâ€™s next Masterworks program is this Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10 at the Holland Center. Bother performances begin at 8 pm, and more information is available at www.omahasymphony.org.
Comments are closed.