For secondary and college students and their teachers
Thursday, March 26, 7 pm
$3 students, $5 teachers
I’m very excited about the Orchestra In-Sight concert on March 26. Keith Lockhart and the Utah Symphony offer this shorter, earlier, less expensive and less formal concert at Abravanel Hall for secondary and college students, and their teachers. Maestro Lockhart will talk about each piece before it is played and will take questions from the audience after the concert. These pieces, along with a John Adams piece and the Korngold Violin Concerto (performed by Viviane Hagner) can also be heard Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28.
Music of American composer Charles Ives will be featured on the Orchestra In-Sight concert. If you don’t know the music of Charles Ives you couldn’t have a better introduction. This American composer, who had the economic security of a successful career as an insurance agent, composed largely to his own muse. His small town New England musical experience was formed by what he heard in church (including his years as church organist), the music of the village band directed by his father, and the rural countryside. Much of his early introduction to music came from his father whose musical curiosity led him to experiment with quarter tones, polytonality and ‘poly-melodies.’ Indeed, the elder Ives sometimes sent different parts of the town band to a variety of locations, with each playing variations on a particular melody at the same time, just to hear the effect that would have. Charles Ives developed his great sense of curiosity, exploration and delight in music from his father.
Variations on America
Charles Ives is about 15 years old in this picture. Two years later he wrote his set of Variations on America for organ. William Schuman has done a terrific job orchestrating Ives’ organ music. He has kept the whimsy, balancing the patriotic seriousness with playful afterthoughts shared throughout sections of the orchestra. Indulge your impulse to chuckle at what you’re hearing; Ives would appreciate it. And while it’s the earliest composed Ives piece on the program, it will be the last piece on the concert. You might leave wishing you had been so clever as to create these variations – or be inspired to see if you can do Ives one better!
You can listen to these variations here:
Watch for another blog entry about other Ives music on this program.