Harford String Orchestra & Harford Youth Orchestr Program Notes
(program notes, November 22, 2003)
This program is partially funded by the Maryland Arts Council through the Harford County Cultural Arts Board and Harford Community College, Fine and Practical Arts Division, Dean Paul Labe and the Community and Business Division, Mrs. Kaye Ramasch, chair.]
Ladies and Gentlemen: please rise for our National Anthem
The Star Spangled Banner, by John Stafford Smith
Arranged by JamesRed McLeod -performed by the Harford String Orchestra under the direction of Mr. Brian Folus.Chorale for Strings, arranged by. Mr. Folus is a tradtional al chorale. In this arrangement each sections has a verse of the chorale while the other sections provide the harmony. This arrangement is a study in balance, for the melody must always be heard clearly regardless of where it is voiced.
Baroque Suite No. 1 , arranged by . Merle Isaac is a collection of four baroque melodies. The Harford String Orchestra will be performing the second , third and fourth movments for you today.
The first movement Allegro Spiritoso, by J.B. Senaille is in d minor and begins with staccato chords contrasting the lyric melody.
The second movement is a Menuetto, from the opera Alicina, G.F. Handel. This movement featurres two similar melodies played in contrasting styles. The first with hooked or separated bowing the second in a more legato fashion.
The third movement, Tambourin, by Andre Gretry is a lively dance featuring alternating dynamics of loud and soft and alternating styles of playing of the sustained notes and the highly separated or spiccato style of playing which will become very popular in the classical period.
Dragonhunter, by Richard Meyer is a medieval sounding piece with an aggressive main melody that returns in the middle as a canon with the lower strings being chased or hunted by the upper strings. This work was just published and was composed last Spring by Mr. Meyer for his middle school orchestra. In the short time that the Harford String Orchestra has had the work it has become one of our favorites and we hope you too will enjoy, Dragonhunter by Richard Meyer.Still, Still, Still, arranged by Mark Hellem is a traditional Austrian holiday carol depicting the joy of the Christmas season with a simple yet beautiful lullaby. You can almost hear the angel choirs in the cold winter night, quieting their joyous songs as they approach the sleeping child cradled in his mothers arms. The Harford String Orchestra wishes all of you a joyous Holiday season and a happy New Year with this lovely carol, Still, Still, Still.Rondo Joyoso, by H.B. Fisher is a delightful high-spirited rondo based on simple Baroque like arpeggios and melodies. The opening tune in G major is contrasted with a softer tune in e minor. Followed by a brief pizzicato fugue contrasted by a legato melody and then a final restatement of the opening tune.Peanut Butter and Celli, by Maryland music educator Joseph Compello is one of many of his published works for young bands and orchestras. This work as the title implies is a novelty feature for the cello section.Sword Dance, Arr. Bob Phillips is a tune form the Orchesographie of 1588 by Thoinot Arbeau. As this was the only dance manual published in France in the second half of the 16th century, Arbeaus collection is considered the definitive source for dance music of that era. This high-energy tune begins on the lower strings and then makes it way around the orchestra with various styles and sounds.HSO 3
Our next selection is: Arkansas Traveler, arranged by Craig Duncan.
Arkansas traveler is a well know fiddle tune. Each section of the string orchestra has an opportunity to shine as this infectious melody is passed around the orchestra like a real fiddlers convention.The final work on the Harford string Orchestras portion of the program is
Sinfonia, paraphrased from the trio in A minor, by Georg .Phillip Telemann arranged here by Robert B. Brown
Telemann was one of the most famous and influential composers of the Baroque period. His reputation was even greater than his contemporary Johann Sebastian Bachs reputation.
He composed many sacred works, forty operas, and over 600 overtures or orchestra suites. This arrangement by Robert Brown is a paraphrase from a chamber work, the Trio in a minor. In 1965 Mr. Brown, then Music Supervisor for Levittown N.Y. had this arrangement published and it has stayed a favorite of String Orchestra members and their conductors since that time.
We hope you enjoy out final selection Sinfonia by Georg Phillip Telemann, arranged by Robert Brown.
George Bizet was born in Paris in 1838. By the age of 4 he could read both words and music. At the age of 10 he entered the Paris Conservatory and later at the age of 16 he wrote his Symphony in C and was awarded the coveted Prix de Rome. During the last year of his life he composed the music to the Spanish gypsy opera, Carmen. The opera was not successful at its premier due to the grim realism of the story and the depiction of persons from a lower class of society. Although the audience was shocked at the first performance it is now one of the most popular and frequently performed works in all of opera due to its fresh lyricism and the exciting, exotic rhythms of the Spanish dancers. Here is the March from Carmen.
March from Carmen
Peter Tchaikovsky was born in Russia in 1840. Although he started working as a civil servant at the age of 23 he gave up his position and started studying at the conservatory in St. Petersburg. There he was influenced by the great Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov. Tchaikovskys beautiful melodies, brilliant orchestral colors and strong emotional expression captivated the public and he was the first serious composer to become familiar to the public. His ballet, The Nutcracker was completed in 1892 and was based on the Christmas story by E. T. Hoffman called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. A perennial favorite in theatres and concert halls, especially at Christmastime, The Nutcracker vividly displays the composers virtuosity in creating varied orchestral colors. The orchestra will play three selections from The Nutcracker Waltz of the Flowers, March and Trepak which is based on a Cossack dance.
Three selections from Nutcracker
Norman Dello Joio was born into a musical family in 1913. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all church organists. He attended Julliard School of Music and Yale University. In 1972 he became Dean of Arts at Boston University. During that time he received several awards for his compositions among them the New York Critics Circle Award, an Emmy Award and the Pulitzer Prize in Music. His musical influences were the 19th century Italian opera, Catholic Church music in addition to popular and jazz music. His music is characterized by a directness of expression, strong melodic appeal, rhythmic vitality and clearly defined classic formal structure. Air for Strings was written in 1967 and is marked by a lyrical singing melodic line that resembles an Italian bel canto operatic aria.
Air for StringsMaurice Ravel was born in France in 1875. Although he published his first composition in his twenties he went to study at the Paris Conservatory until he was thirty, polishing an already dazzling technique for orchestration. He was a first class pianist and conductor and took an active part in French national music before World War I. His music was influenced by the earlier French composers Fauré and Satie. H was one of the most skilled orchestrators in the business. Few composers ever invented more original orchestral sounds or colors. Pavane for a Dead Princess was first written as a piano piece and was orchestrated in 1899. In his Pavane Ravel recalled an old custom of a solemn dance in memory of the dead.
Pavane for a Dean PrincessLudwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. He studied first with his father, a singer and an instrumentalist. He began writing music when he was 8 and had his first pieces published at 12. When he was 22 he settled in Vienna and studied with Haydn, the great master and Salieri, a rival of Mozart. Beethoven was considered a great pianist but he began to notice a loss of hearing and soon realized it was incurable and would only worsen. Although he was emotionally bitter and unhappy, it was in the next few years that he wrote some of his most heroic and uplifting music his 3rd Symphony, Eroica and his 5th Symphony, which has become the most well known orchestral piece ever written. All of Beethovens nine symphonies are among the greatest compositions in the history of music, perfect in the fusion of emotion and form, filled with drama and great beauty. Here is the last movement of Beethovens 5th Symphony.
Finale from Symphony No. 5
Andrew Lloyd Webber was born in 1948 in London. Inspired by an aunt to study music he started writing music and at the age of 8 he was composing music for his schools plays. In 1964 he won a scholarship to study at Oxford but later dropped out to pursue a partnership with Tim Rice. Since then he has written numerous musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Starlight Express, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera which was written in 1984. In 1997 he was knighted and became Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. He has won an Academy Award, Tony Awards, Grammy Awards and the Critic Circle Award. The orchestra will perform selections from Phantom of the Opera including the title song, as well as Think of Me, Angel of Music, Music of the Night, Wishing You Were Here Again and All I Ask of You.
Camille Saint-Saens was born in France in 1835. He began as an organist and became an early member of the National Musical Society which championed French composers. Among the French composers of his day he was both a pioneer of progress and a moderating influence on younger composers. His high standard of form, style and workmanship played a major role in the formation and recognition of the modern French symphony. His opera Samson and Delilah was written in 1877. Based on a narrative from the Old Testament, The Book of Judges, the opera tells the ancient story of the mighty warrior, Samson, who undefeated in battle, was undone by the treachery of an irresistible siren, Delilah. The Bacchanale from the opera is a spirited dance in honor of Bacchus, god of wine.