It is appropriate that the first concert of our 48th season falls on All Saints Day. The three composers who are represented on our “True Classics” concert are certainly three of the “saints” of classical music–Beethoven, Dvorak and Brahms.
Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture that opens the concert was written for a play about the Roman leader Coriolan by a German writer named von Collins. With an intensity that only Beethoven can conjure, the drama of the story is captured by Beethoven in the very first note of the piece. Even in the more lyrical sections of the overture, there is an underlying unrest that makes it one of Beethoven’s most exciting short pieces for orchestra.
The second piece on the program is perhaps the greatest concerto written for the cello, Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor. It is not only a great vehicle to showcase the technical skill of our soloist, Madaleine Kabat, but it is musically very authentic and satisfying. It is a substantial piece of music, lasting over 30 minutes, and it has less of the Czech folk elements that are common in Dvorak’s writing, but so many of the melodies throughout the piece are beautiful and memorable. Ms. Kabat comes to us from Milwaukee where she is a regular performer in the cello section of the Milwaukee Symphony. Her playing is truly lovely–a great combination of virtuosity and heart that will make her performance here one that you will not want to miss!
The final piece on the program is Johannes Brahms’ First Symphony. Honestly, I can’t say much more about this Symphony except to say that it has to be in the top 10 pieces ever written in the genre of the symphony. Brahms was very self-conscious about writing a symphony, fearing that he would never live up to the greatness of his idol, Beethoven, who had already been dead for 50 years before Brahms completed this symphony.
Does it live up to the standard set by Beethoven? You can judge for yourself when you come on Saturday, November 1st at 7:30pm at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center in downtown Alexandria. Tickets can be purchased by calling (318) 442-9709, ext. 2 or visiting www.rapidessymphony.org.