If you go
› What: CSO European Tour
› Where: Chattanooga State Community College, Humanities Building, 4501 Amnicola Highway
› When: 3 p.m. Sunday, March 11
› Admission: $28 adults, $15 students
› For more information: 423-267-8583
Join the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera for a musical tour of Europe during a chamber concert on Sunday afternoon, March 11, in the Humanities Building at Chattanooga State Community College on Amnicola Highway.
Music has been selected from composers throughout Europe. CSO Concertmaster Holly Mulcahy will be the concert's featured soloist. Additionally, the orchestra will be joined by the CSO Chorus.
The program will include:
German composer Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll" is the only purely instrumental work by the composer regularly performed. Written for his wife for the birth of their son, the piece reflects a tender and restrained side of the composer.
It was originally written for a small chamber ensemble, but later was published for a larger ensemble. Borrowing themes from his opera, "Siegried," called leitmotivs, they are used in the opera to portray specific characters and ideas. In this music they portray a general, but passionate, expression of love.
"Suite for Violin and Strings"
Featuring a lyrical solo violin, "Suite for Violin and Strings" by Finnish composer and violinist Jean Sibelius is written in three movements, each portraying life in the countryside. It begins with the lighthearted movement "Country Scenery," followed by the lyrical "Evening in Spring." It concludes with "In the Summer," an exciting piece that showcases the technical skills of the soloist.
"The Sibelius is a sweet piece, that until very recently has been forgotten," says Mulcahy. "As a matter of fact, when Sibelius originally sent the work to publishers, they rejected it and that rejection just about destroyed him. I've shared this work with many composer friends who have all said the same thing: 'Suite for Violin and Strings' is just exquisite, writing that is full of sincerity and beauty.
"For me, 'Suite for Violin and Strings' is a gift. It is one of the sweetest gifts I can share with an audience because I know it will invite an audience to feel good. I'm absolutely in love with that work for that reason. It's one of the happiest and warmest pieces I've ever played."
"Meditation" from "Thais"
French composer Massenet's opera "Thais" is relatively unknown except for the intermezzo titled "Meditation." It is written for solo violin and orchestra. This work is one of the most recognized classical violin solos. It opens with harps supporting a soaring violin melody, which gradually grows with emotional intensity as the strings add their harmonies.
"'Meditation' is near and dear to my heart as I've known it over the course of my career. Audiences will immediately recognize the work, or at least recognize why it is so popular. It's the kind of piece that opens hearts, soothes minds and cures melancholy," Mulcahy says.
Hungarian composer Kodaly paints a soundscape of his native country, incorporating hints of folk-style music. It opens with an English horn solo, and continues to feature various wind instruments that are supported and interrupted by string features.
British composer Benjamin Britten's "Simple Symphony" is based on music he wrote when he was just 9 years old, themes pieced together from those childhood compositions while in his 20s. The result is a youthful symphony written in four movements: "Boisterous Bouree," "Playful Pizzicato," "Sentimental Saraband" and "Frolicsome Finale." Britten captures the feeling of the simple English folk song within the complexity of a symphony.
For more information about the concert: 423-267-8583