Program Notes

Opening Night at the Orpheum

Beethoven, Brahms, and Copland

November 4, 2021

Fanfare for the Common Man was written to honor the soldiers of WWII and is now one of the most iconic sonic representations of the courage and bravery in the hearts and minds of ordinary men and women. Audience and orchestra will reunite at the Orpheum for the first time in over a year and a half for a night not to be missed!

Conductor

Carlos Miguel Prieto

Guest Artists

Aubree Oliverson (violin)

LPO Musicians

Guest Artist Bios

Aubree Oliverson

Praised for her evocative lyricism and joyful, genuine approach, 23-year-old violinist Aubree Oliverson is proving to be one of America’s most promising young artists. Herperformances have been described by Miami New Times as “endearing and powerful… brimming with confidence and joy” and “masterful… [with a] rich and warm sonority,” by the San Diego Story.


Filled with a refreshingly positive outlook, Aubree made her solo debut with the Utah Symphony at age eleven and has since been devoted to pursuing a life in music. Aubree has garnered several accolades, including her Carnegie Hall Weill Hall recital debut at age twelve as winner of the American Protégé International Strings Competition, several featured performances on NPR’s hit radio show From The Top, a 2016 National YoungArts Foundation Award, the prestigious Dorothy DeLay Fellowship and concerto performance at the Aspen Music Festival, and winner of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow on a high school student. Highlights of Aubree’s upcoming concert schedule include opening the Louisiana Symphony season with a two-week residency, performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto under maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto along with chamber music performances in music of Stravinsky and Marsalis, debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Redlands Bowl Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, and closing the Casals Festival performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G Minor with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maximiano Valdés. Additional appearances include the Rome Chamber Music Festival and the Verbier Festival Academy and return engagements with the Utah Symphony on a mini tour with maestro Thierry Fischer.


Aubree’s recent engagements include performances with the Pacific Symphony, San Diego Symphony and six performances of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Carlos Miguel Prieto and Paolo Bortolameolli conducting the Orchestra of Americas on their tour of Mexico; performances with the Culver City, Topanga and San Fernando Valley Symphonies; recital appearances at the Grand Teton Music Festival and SOKA Performing Arts Center; a video recording project produced by VideoClassica and ArsClassica Association performing solo violin music of Bach, Ysaye, Paganini and Prokofiev; and chamber music at Les Salon des Musiques in Los Angeles. She has also previously soloed with the American Youth Symphony, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Beach Cities Symphony, Burbank Philharmonic, Colburn Orchestra, Colburn Baroque Ensemble, Millennial Choir and Orchestra, Salt Lake Pops Orchestra, Pasadena Orchestra, Utah Chamber Artists, and the Innsbrook Festival Orchestra. In 2012, she returned to the Utah Symphony, at age 13, for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto conducted by Vladimir Kulenovic, and the following year she performed a movement of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Joseph Silverstein and the Gifted Music School Orchestra in Salt Lake City.


Aubree also enjoys playing chamber music and has performed in various settings around the world. She participated in the Rome Chamber Music Festival 2020 performing works by Vivaldi, Handel and Bach. Ms. Oliverson was a participant in the David Finckel/Wu Han Chamber Studio at the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2015 and 2016, and she performed at the Prussia Cove IMS Masterclasses and the Music Masters Course Japan chamber music seminar in Yokohama in 2017. She has collaborated with artists such as Stefan Jackiw and Robert McDuffie in Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and with Lynn Harrell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Orli Shaham, Andrew Marriner, and Clive Greensmith as part of the Colburn Chamber Music Society in Los Angeles, and with Gil Shaham on tour in Mexico. Passionate about reaching a broader audience, Aubree has traveled to over 100 schools throughout the Western United States, motivating and inspiring thousands of children to work hard and participate in music, and has spoken at numerous special functions including national education conventions. Recently, Aubree gave two digital master classes with the Orchestra of the Americas and last season, she participated in a masterclass and side-by-side performance with the Esperanza Azteca Youth Orchestra in Mexico. In 2018, she gave a masterclass and performance in China, and worked individually with over thirty young violinists. Aubree graduated from the Colburn Music Academy in Los Angeles in 2016 where she was concertmaster of the Academy Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. Aubree is a former student of Debbie Moench, Eugene Watanabe, Danielle Belen, Boris Kuschnir at the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien, and currently studies with Robert Lipsett, the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. She plays on a 1743 Sanctus Seraphin violin thanks to the generous loan of Dr. James Stewart.

Aubree enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, language study, swimming, and dark chocolate.

Composers

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) – Violin Concerto op. 61 in D major

Composed for flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, strings and solo violin

Performance length: Approximately 45 minutes

First performed by the LPO March 1994

Most recently performed October 2017

The violin has always attracted the eye of composers. Since the earliest development of the instrument composers have gravitated towards its beauty of sound, lyrical capabilities, and have pressed the boundaries of what was believed to be technically possible.  

Beethoven was not immune to the allure of the violin. Indeed, even before he composed his violin concerto, Beethoven had published two romances for solo violin and orchestra that show his exploration of the instrument. Additionally, there survives fragments of a violin concerto in a classical idiom that shows his early interest in writing for the instrument. 

It wasn’t until Beethoven made the acquaintance of the young prodigy Franz Clement that Beethoven set to work on this concerto, completing it in 1806.  Franz Clement was a great star of his day, and a new concerto written for him by Beethoven was newsworthy, however the premiere of the work was poorly received.  Some accounts suggest that the concerto was finished so late that Clement did not have time to learn the difficult solo part well, and the performance suffered.  Whatever the circumstance was, Beethoven’s concerto was shelved and mostly forgotten for the remainder of his life.  

It wasn’t until well after Beethoven’s death, in 1844 when a 14 year-old Joseph Joachim re-introduced the work (with Felix Mendelssohn conducting) and the concerto was able to be seen in a new light.  Joachim (for whom Johannes Brahms wrote his violin concerto) was quoted as saying that Beethoven’s violin concerto was “the greatest of all German violin concertos.”  Today the work is regarded amongst the finest in the literature and a display of a soloist’s merit in artistry, technique and stamina. 

The concerto is in three movements. The first movement (Allegro ma non Troppo,) is by far the longest and has a symphonic scope to its construction. This is a structure that influenced many composers after Beethoven, creating massive first movements that demand incredible stamina and concentration from their soloists. 

The second movement (Larghetto) is a serene, beautiful landscape that conceals a theme and variations. There are numerous similarities in this movement to the slow movement of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto (also completed in 1806.)

The final, rousing movement is in rondo form which features one of the concerto’s most memorable melodies. Beethoven wrote this movement in 6/8 which gives the entire movement a romping, rolling feeling that carries us all the way through its brilliant finish. 

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) – Symphony no. 2 in D major, op. 73

Composed for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, and strings.

Performance length: approximately 45 minutes

First performance by the LPO given November 1993

Most recent performance by the LPO November 2019

Brahms’ reluctance to compose a symphony has been well documented. So intimidated by what he regarded as the “perfection” of Beethoven’s symphonies, Brahms felt himself unworthy to write a symphony until he felt capable as a composer to step into the shadow of Beethoven.  His first symphony (op. 68) took twenty-one years of intermittent work until the composer felt confident enough to have it published.  By that point, Brahms was already forty-three years old.

His first symphony was met with rousing fanfare and public approval, to Brahms’ great relief.  This likely relieved a weight from his shoulders, because the second symphony took much less time for him to complete.  From initial sketches to completion, the work was finished during a summer stay in Austria, when Brahms visited the province of Carinthia. The symphony was given its premiere by the Vienna Philharmonic in November of 1877 (only 13 months after the premiere of his first symphony.)

The symphony’s pleasant, pastoral tone drew immediate comparison to Beethoven’s sixth symphony, (which surely created no small amount of ire from Brahms,) considering he constantly referred to the symphony’s “sad,” and “melancholic” tone to his publisher. 

Regardless of Brahms’ own feelings towards the work, his second symphony has endured to be one of his most frequently performed symphonic works.

The symphony is in a traditional four-movement structure, the first, Allegro non troppo begins serenely, with an introduction drifting its way through the entire orchestra until the main melody is finally introduced. This movement is also where Brahms’ famous “lullaby” melody comes from.  Listen for its appearance in the cellos and violas. 

The second movement Adagio non troppo is perhaps the most adventurous, structurally speaking.  Brahms allows his imagination to take us into some of the most tenuous harmonic  and melodic places, where, while not the most comfortable music for musicians to play, leads us to some of the most beautiful spaces in this symphony.

The third movement, Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino) would probably be the most comparable to Beethoven’s Pastoral.  The movement begins with a simple, lilting melody in the oboe, who is gradually joined by other voices in an untroubled journey before a spirited trio section, led by the strings, evokes a rustic, bustling village. 

The fourth movement, Allegro con spirito, begins with a quiet, sostenuto melody which is active, yet subdued. The energy of the moment is too great to contain, however, and the orchestra soon erupts in an explosion of color and excitement that carries us through to the end.

Aaron Copland (1900-1990)— Fanfare for the Common Man (1942)

Composed for four french horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, percussion and timpani

Performance length: approximately 4 minutes

First performed by the LPO on November 1995

Most recently performed by the LPO on September 2020

In the summer of 1942, the world was embroiled in some of the darkest days of World War II.  The United States had only recently become drawn into the war, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music director, Eugene Goosens, approached Aaron Copland about writing a fanfare to inspire the American people and support the burgeoning war effort. Goosens felt that Copland, as the “dean” of American composers would be the perfect candidate to capture both a spirit of optimism and to inspire Americans in the war effort. 

Copland agreed and attempted a few drafts of a fanfare with working titles such as “Fanfare for a Solemn Ceremony” and “Fanfare for Four Freedoms” before settling on “Fanfare for the Common Man” which Copland himself said he was inspired to do because  “—it was the common man, after all, who was doing all the dirty work in the war and the army. He deserved a fanfare.” 

Premiered in November of 1942, the fanfare was a rousing success, inspiring just the sort of reaction from audiences that Goosens and Copland hoped for. The fanfare has gone on to become an iconic piece of American musical literature, inspiring classical and non-classical musicians alike to study and incorporate it’s memorable writing into their own work.  Progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer popularized the work to their audiences in the 1970’s while Copland himself even re-used the melody as part of his Third Symphony (1946.) John Williams borrows much of the influences of Copland’s heroic writing for the fanfares he has composed for the Olympics in recent decades. 

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