Tickets: $25 online, $30 at the door, $15 Student
Jack Gramann, artist
Siegfried: Forest Murmurs – Richard Wagner
Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 11 – Richard Strauss
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 “Scottish” – Felix Mendelssohn
Following in the light of Beethoven and as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution, composers of the Romantic era looked to nature and tried to capture the mystery of it and the awe that it inspired. Music from this period promoted themes of heroism, focused on the sublime, the idyll, and the supernatural. Compositional techniques of this period included a wide range of dynamics supported by large orchestration, a larger tonal range, chromaticism, and motivic development, which were all used to express extreme emotion, the individual imagination, and the intangible.
This Romantic program features Wagner’s Siegfried: Forest Murmurs, Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, performed by Adam Koch, and Mendelssohn’s Scottish symphony.
The aforementioned musical works express nature through music and themes of heroism, while creating landscapes in the imagination. Forest Murmurs is derived from Act II of Wagner’s opera, Siegfried. It depicts Siegfried, after slaying a furious dragon, resting in the forest under a linden tree while becoming enchanted by the forest murmurs and the song of a bird in the branches above him.
Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1, written when he was 19, evokes the pastoral nature of the horn and uses cyclic and motivic development consistent with Romantic compositional practices.
In the summer of 1829, Mendelssohn toured the Scottish Highlands, where he was inspired to write his Scottish symphony. In a letter, he recounts his encounter with a half-ruined gray castle on the meadow where Mary Stuart lived. He states, “In the evening twilight we went today to the palace where Mary lived and loved…The chapel close to it is now roofless, grass and ivy grow there, and at the broken altar Mary was crowned Queen of England. Everything around is broken and moldering and the bright sky shines in. I believe I have found today in that old chapel the beginning of my Scottish symphony.” The letter contained ten measures of music that were to become the introductory melody of this symphony.
– Dr. Antoine T. Clark