Seattle Chamber Music Society 2016 Summer Festival final concerts
King FM brings you the final two concerts of the Seattle Chamber Music Society 2016 Summer Festival, broadcasted live at 8pm on Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30. Friday’s concert will feature music by Mozart, Richard Strauss, Britten and Mendelssohn’s Quartet for Piano and Strings Op. 1 composed when he was only 13! If you ever wondered about Mendelssohn’s precocious genius, here is an opportunity to experience his very first published work in all its glory. For their grand finale, the SCMS has pulled all the stops with music by Poulenc, Beethoven and Brahms’ magnificent Quartet for Piano and Strings Op. 25, one of the finest of its kind in the chamber music repertoire.
Plus, keep an ear open for other great chamber music festivals this August, including The Orcas Island Music Festival, Methow Valley Summer Festival, and Whidbey Island Music Festival (Music Director Tekla Cunningham will be our Musical Chairs’ featured guest on August 12.)
For great orchestral music, turn to our broadcast of a Seattle Symphony concert on Friday, August 5th at 9pm featuring one of the most ground-breaking symphonies ever composed: Beethoven’s No. 3, “Eroica”! There are musicians who create art and there are a few who rewrite history in the process. Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo”, Bach’s “Musical Offering”, Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro”, Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”, The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and Jimi Hendrix’ “Are you Experienced” revolutionized the music of their respective eras and so did Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony.
When it was premiered on April 7, 1805, nothing like Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony had ever been composed. The first movement alone was as long as entire symphonies of the day. The innovative orchestration created a flurry of sound that astonished its bewildered audience! This highly complex, grand-scale symphonic structure was Beethoven’s first musical “cathedral” and marked the beginning of his middle-period when the master would unleash the full might of his genius.
Here are a couple of famous “Eroica” anecdotes:
The famous horn solo which Beethoven, in a typical act of defiance, placed four bars before the true recapitulation which completely confused audiences and musicians alike. Ferdinand Ries, a composer himself and Beethoven’s secretary who was present during the symphony’s first reading described the confusion: “The first rehearsal of the symphony was terrible, but the hornist did, in fact, come in on cue. I was standing next to Beethoven and, believing that he had made a wrong entrance, I said, “That damned hornist! Can’t he count? It sounds frightfully wrong.” I believe I was in danger of getting my ears boxed. Beethoven did not forgive me for a long time.”
There is also the notorious story of the dedication. Beethoven was a great and early admirer of Napoleon. He dedicated his revolutionary symphony to France’s First Consul with the following inscription on the cover page: “Heroic Symphony, Composed to celebrate the memory of a great man.” Beethoven’s initial enthusiasm was however crushed when Napoleon crowned himself emperor. The enraged composer stated: “So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, too, he will tread under foot all the rights of Man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!” He proceeded to vehemently erase the dedication, re-dedicating his masterpiece as Sinfonia Eroica instead.
Mark O’Connor on Musical Chairs
KING FM is delighted to welcome multi-Grammy and CMA Award-winning eclectic violinist and composer Mark O’Connor to Musical Chairs on Friday, August 5 at 7pm. Mark returns to Seattle and Jazz Alley where he will perform August 18-21 with the O’Connor Band and their debut album, Coming Home.
A product of America’s rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, Mark O’Connor’s creative journey began at the feet of a pair of musical giants. The first was the folk fiddler and innovator who created the modern era of American fiddling, Benny Thomasson; the second, French jazz violinist, considered one of the greatest improvisers in the history of the violin, Stephane Grappelli. Working with classical violin icons Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Yehudi Menhuin and Pinchas Zukerman, he absorbed knowledge and influence from the multitude of musical styles and genres.
With his body of work including 45 feature albums of mostly his own compositions, Mark O’Connor has melded and shaped these influences into a new American Classical music, and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing.
NW Focus Highlights
Here at KING FM, we’re celebrating mid-summer and gearing up for the concert season ahead. Tune in Friday, August 5, at 8pm for a look back at some of our favorite live, in-studio performances featuring groups with exciting upcoming concert seasons! For details, visit here.
Sean’s MacLean’s Concert Picks
Sean has scoured the chamber music festival cornucopia and can’t miss these:
- Saturday, July 30 at 7:30pm: Marrowstone Music Festival, Seattle Youth Symphony’s summer training ground since 1943: Especially the life-affirming Respighi.
- Tuesday, Aug 2 at 7:30pm: Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, gorgeous smells east of the Cascades, Kevin’s great programming: the Saint-Saens will surprise you, and the Barber and Gershwin will charm you.
- Sunday, July 31 at 3pm: Whidbey Island Music Festival, to hear music by the “Paganini of the 18th century” who myth music of Ariadne reminds us that if you abandoned your lady on an island, don’t be surprised when the good of mirth and wine spirits her away.
- Thursday, Aug 4, – 7pm: Auburn Symphony’s Summer String Celebration at Mary Olson Farm, with the Carnival of the Animals and Tchaikovsky’s best string writing, his Serenade.
- Saturday, July 30, 7pm: Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Music under the Stars at Freeway Park, starting with Seattle Youth Symphony’s wonderful Sol Quartet, and on to Poulenc and Brahms broadcast under the stars.
And Sean’s top pick:
- Friday, August 5 , 9am – sunset: Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. Spend all day on the dreamy island, starting with a luxurious behind-the-musical-scenes from a pro I can’t recommend highly enough: King FM’s own Lisa Bergman, a musician who knows this part of the world and what makes it tick and swing like nobody. Her “Know the Score” lecture will introduce you to the hugely popular trio “Time for Three,” just before one of their violinists starts next month as concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra! From Carnegie Hall to Dancing with the Stars, Time for Three is as comfortable with Brahms as they are with their ingenious mash-ups of Beatles, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake. Except, unlike most who aspire to this, they do it really really well! A day on Orcas Island is never wasted. Take a Friday holiday and soak up the talent and natural beauty of this gem festival.
In light of recent tragedy and political turmoil around the world, we need music now more than ever—not as a distraction or an escape, but as a gateway toward experiencing our shared humanity. Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble bring this vision to life in their new album, Sing Me Home, which draws upon instruments, ideas, and traditions from around the world. The result is an album which travels fearlessly from the folk melodies of Macedonia to the traditional textiles of Mali, from the fiddle ditties of Ireland to the harvest songs of Galicia, and from the taiko tunes of Japan to the sitar suites of India. Click here to read our album review on Second Inversion!
Seattle Opera 2016-2017 Season Preview
Seattle music writer and critic Melinda Bargreen previews Seattle Opera’s 2016-2017 season which opens next month with Rossini’s fun-filled, wacky, outrageous farce Count Ory which general director Aidan Lang describes as ‘Monty Python meets Blackadder meets the Love Guru’. Read the full preview here.
KING FM Arts’ Picks
- Seattle Opera presents The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory, running August 6-20.
- Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, taking place at Signal Hill Ranch, July 28–August 6
- Whidbey Island Music Festival, taking place at St. Augustine’s In-the-Woods, July 29–August 2
- Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival runs August 4 through 20. Plus, join KING FM Arts Host Lisa Bergman as she presents two “Know the Score” lectures on Thursday, August 4 and Friday, August 5.
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