Music of Beethoven, Salonen, Debussy and Mozart
Discovery Ensemble’s final concert of the year divides very nicely into a first half of tension and a second half of relaxation.
We begin in the mode of high drama with Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 2. This is the overture that preceded Beethoven’s opera Fidelio in the opera’s first version. Although less frequently played than Leonore No. 3 it is, in fact, the more surprising of the overtures, finding Beethoven in his most experimental, exploratory mood.
That the famous Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen is also one of the distinguished composers of our day is not as well known in America as it is in Europe, where his works are performed with considerable frequency. Mania, for cello and small orchestra, is a perfect place to begin one’s acquaintance with the music of Salonen, whose style is rather like a mixture of Debussy and Sibelius, with the addition of a very modern nervous streak. The unusual demands placed on the soloist require a truly formidable cellist. Kacy Clopton, for two years principal cello of Discovery Ensemble and a performer of tremendous virtuosity and intensity is an ideal exponent of this powerful and deeply rewarding piece.
Debussy’s beloved Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun was a seminal piece for Salonen’s musical development, so it seems appropriate to program it in conjunction with Mania. It will doubtless prove very interesting for audiences who are used to hearing this exquisite piece played by huge orchestras in large halls to experience it played with the delicacy of a chamber orchestra in a more intimate space.
Closing the concert is that sunniest and most serene of classical symphonies, Mozart’s Symphony No. 39. Its good humor throughout, and particularly the crackling wit of its last movement, bear testimony to the composer’s deep affection for the music of Haydn.
Leonore Overture No. 2
Mania for Cello and Chamber Orchestra
Kacy Clopton, cello
Prélude a` l’apre`s-midi d’un faune
Symphony No. 39
There are free student tickets available for this concert. In order to collect the free tickets students must fill out the following voucher and present it in person to the Jordan Hall Box Office along with a valid student ID: