Beethoven's 5th and Winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition
NOW OFFERING GROUP RATES (10 or more people) - $15/TICKET @ Landis Theater and 20% off @ Stockton's Performing Arts Center
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Pre-Concert Conversations with Music Director, Jed Gaylin are FREE and start one hour before each concert. Follow signs upon arrival at the performance venue for the exact location.
Both Greeting of Love and Grieg’s concerto were utterances of romantic passion and dreamy lyricism. Queen Elisabeth Competition grand prize winner Lukáš Vondráček is a musical sensation. The dream expands for all humanity in Beethoven’s transformation from desolation to triumph.
Elgar - Salut d’amour
Grieg - Piano Concerto
•Lukas Vondracek, piano
Beethoven - Symphony No. 5
Please note: all programs are subject to change.
Notes from Music Director, Jed Gaylin- about Beethoven's 5th Symphony:
It is not surprising that Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, though generally understood by listeners, is surrounded by statements that do more to confuse than assist in absorbing the work. How many times must the public be told that the first movement is derived exclusively from the four opening notes? In fact, there are many other important musical elements to the piece, such as the upward driving scales of the bass lines, or the interlocking 4ths and 5ths of the horn call and lyrical theme in the strings. These figures feature prominently in the coda—that abrupt shift towards the end where we are jolted into the realization that the movement will not conclude in harmonious victory. Those horn call notes (4ths and 5ths) also find their way in the other movements too. Certainly the piece, a mere half-hour work, is as economical as any human creation; it plumbs great depths and scales tremendous heights in short time. But it is also a rich work, terse but not stingy with its material. Another unhelpful turn of phrase about the piece is that its progression is inevitable. Yet Beethoven slaved over 12 possible versions for the opening motive. One of music historians’ usual tricks is to look at sketches and then prove how stupid those pathetic unmusical ideas are in comparison to the finished products. The Norton Critical Score to this piece indulges in this practice. Yet when you play the opening theme to the second movement in its sketched version, it seems as lovely and open to possibilities as the sublime rendering Beethoven left us in his Symphony; it was simply the road not taken. The number of topics for honest discussion in this piece seems to grow exponentially every time I revisit the work, but they all need time and space. So at this point, take everything you’ve heard about the piece, forget it all, and start all over. From scratch is never a bad place to start anyhow, when looking at a great work.