Oct. 27

Concordia Santa Fe Presents: “Centennials”

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Admission is free, with donations gratefully accepted at the door.

Event Description

Concordia Santa Fe will present its third wind orchestra concert of 2013, entitled Centennials. Steven D. Davis of the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music will lead the 40-member ensemble as its guest conductor. Repertoire on the program includes works by Britten, Dello Joio, Gould, King, and Wagner.

Admission is free, with donations gratefully accepted at the door. The concert will take place:
Sunday, October 27, 2013
2:00 p.m.
St. Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art
107 W. Palace Avenue

The program’s theme is based on the coinciding landmark birthdays of its composers: 100 years for Benjamin Britten and Norman Dello Joio, and 200 years for Richard Wagner. While not celebrating a birthday, composer Karl King wrote his Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite march 100 years ago.

In 1952, with the Queen’s coronation just a year away and with royal approval given for the project, Britten began work on a ‘national’ opera, to be called Gloriana. Based on Lytton Strachey's book Elizabeth and Essex, the opera tells the story of Elizabeth I and her relationship with Lord Essex. Unfortunately for Britten, the young Queen Elizabeth II was not impressed with the amorous nature of the subject matter, nor were the audiences, and Lord Harewood later described it as ‘one of the great disasters of operatic history.’ Nevertheless, if the opera’s subject was not to everyone’s tastes, much of Britten’s music was still to be admired. The Courtly Dances, which appear in Act II, scene three, at a ball given by the Queen, have since become a staple part of the concert repertoire. The last of these, La Volta – a vigorous dance in which the ladies are tossed into the air by their partners – is so energetic tha t afterwards the Queen commands: ‘Ladies, go change they linen!’

“In dulci jubilo” is a melody which has been used by many composers, among them J. S. Bach, as the subject for a variety of musical works. Norman Dello Joio was inspired by it to compose a set of variations. They consist of a brief introduction, the theme, and five “variants” which send the mediaeval melody through five true metamorphoses, strongly contrasting in tempo and character, and utilizing the possibilities of the wind orchestra to the highest degree.

Santa Fe Saga was commissioned by the famous bandmaster and march composer Edwin Franko Goldman for performance at the 1956 convention of the American Bandmasters Association, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gould himself conducted the premiere there on March 9 of that same year. “Because the meeting was held in Santa Fe,” he recalled, “and Santa Fe having charisma, climate and character, it seemed appropriate to compose a piece evoking that area and its history.” The work is in four brief interlinked sections; they are not separate movements, but do bear individual titles: “Rio Grande,” “Round Up,” “Wagon Train,” and “Fiesta.” All represent what Gould described as a general Spanish-Mexican-Western influence on our music.

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