Subscription Concert — March 28, 2015
Concert at: 8 p.m.
Pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m.
College Main Theatre
4200 Farm Hill Blvd, Redwood City
- McCracken: Variations on a Theme for Bassoon and Orchestra
with Doug McCracken, composer and soloist
- Sibelius: Symphony No. 7
- Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2
with Miranda Liu, violin
$25 adult ($30 at door) $10 student
Redwood Advantage: 17 and under admitted free!
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This diverse program features a world premiere and two masterpieces of the 20th century, one a symphony and one a concerto, that are ingenious solutions to two formal problems.
In the symphony, the problem is to write a large-scale work that can be heard simultaneously in several movements — and in one movement! Sibelius' Seventh Symphony unfolds in one glorious stretch of music that is constantly evolving and searching, but the listener can also discern the vague outlines of four traditional symphonic movements. It’s a very delicate balancing act, and Sibelius’ mastery of form, using gradual growth-like processes of theme development and tempos, is unparalleled. The symphony is felt as one continuous (and very moving) epic voyage.
Bela Bartók was always searching for new ways to create unified forms, both large-scale and minutely detailed. In his second Violin Concerto, he set about writing a work that was completely variation-driven; the second movement is a theme and variations, and the third movement finale, a faithful interpretation of the first movement! In both outer movements, the recapitulations turn the themes of the expositions upside down, creating still more variations The resulting “arch form” of the concerto is coupled with a very soulful — and technically brilliant — part for solo violin.
This is a work that is critically regarded as an equal rival to the great Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos — the Three Bs indeed! Violin soloist Miranda Liu makes her Redwood Symphony debut with this piece.
The concert will open with Variations, a world premiere, composed and performed by our own co-principal bassoonist, Douglas McCracken. Most people will recognize the theme from their own childhood.
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