WHEN: April 29, 2023, 7:30 pm
Pre-concert Discussion, 6:30 pm
Stewart Hall, SCSU
D’un matin de printemps
Violin Concerto No. 3, Op. 61, Mvt. 1
Lorelei Schoenhard, Young Performer
Symphony No. 5 in D minor
Lili Boulanger: D’un matin de printemps (‘Of a Spring Morning’)
Showing prodigious talent from a young age – from singing, playing various instruments, and even composing – Lili Boulanger rose to become the first female to win the coveted Prix de Rome for her cantata Faust et Hélène, beating a group of contestants all of whom were at least ten years her senior. Grief in the passing of her father at age six drove much of her inspiration. As her sister Nadia said, “she understood what death was…the grief of surviving someone you love.” Despite this, not all was despairing in her music. Originally written and scored for violin and piano in 1917, Boulanger’s Of a Spring Morning premiered in its orchestral scoring three years after her untimely death at the age of 24. This work stands out for its delicacy and rather jovial temperament. At times reminiscent of French impressionism, it weaves undulating melodies in an irresistible fashion. A luscious middle section featuring solos in the cello and violin slows the work’s pace. With time, the music animates, eventually leading to an explosive ending.
Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3, Op. 61, Mvt. 1
Lorelei Schoenhard, 2023 Young Performer Competition Winner
We hope you will join us in the showcase of musical achievement as we celebrate this season’s winner!
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
In 1936, Shostakovich received some of the harshest criticism of his career. His most recent opera, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, received great public acclaim, that is until the communist party intervened. An article titled Muddle Instead of Music was published in the Soviet newspaper, Pravda, which denounced Shostakovich and tarnished his name. Rumors spread that Stalin himself had penned this opinion, and despite the validity of those claims, the impact the article had on Shostakovich steered him on a different path. Shostakovich needed to write a work that would appease the authorities to clear his name. Determined, he set out to write his fifth symphony, which received its premiere in 1937 by the Leningrad Philharmonic under the baton of Yevgeny Mravinsky. The premiere was an unprecedented success. Eyewitnesses recounted an ovation that lasted for over half an hour. Clearly the work had struck a chord with the public. Since its debut, the symphony has gone on to become one of the most often-performed works of the Russian canon. Like most symphonies, it is written in a four-movement structure. The first of these is jagged and has an impetuous drive despite the verticality of the writing. The second movement is a mischievous and sardonic dance, perhaps a form of mockery. The third movement can only be described in two words: tormenting and transcendent. The fourth movement is unyielding. The end contains a famous controversial tempo marking left to be interpreted by the conductor and orchestra. The question remains: does this music represent triumph or simply a forced happiness?