Photo: Indiana University
IU Chamber Orchestra
Music of von Weber, Britten, and Mozart
Auer Hall, 200 S. Jordan Ave
Wednesday, October 10, 8 pm
Auer Hall in the Jacobs School of Music will host a concert by the IU Chamber Orchestra with music of Carl Maria von Weber, Benjamin Britten, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Uriel Segal will conduct.
Weber’s brief overture to his opera Abu Hassan will open the program. Premiered in 1811, the opera was one of many to derive inspiration from the East, or at least the conception of the East that was popular in the West at the time. Based on a story from Thousand and One Nights, the opera tells the story of Abu Hassan, a servant to the Caliph, and his beloved wife. This classic tale of a servant outwitting his master is enlivened by Weber’s colorful music, which makes liberal use of bells and other percussion to give it an Eastern flavor.
Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge for string orchestra is an early work of Benjamin Britten that he completed in short order for the 1937 Salzburg Festival. Written after a period in which he composed a number of films scores and incidental works, the Variations showcase Britten’s ability to reproduce many different genres of music. The work is filled with parody and cleverness, and ends with a stunning fugue and finale and further references to melodies by Britten’s teacher, Frank Bridge.
Mozart’s final symphony, No. 41, nicknamed “Jupiter,” wraps up the program. This well known work, completed in 1788, showcases the composer’s mastery of classical symphonic form. The first movement begins with a declamatory motive in the strings followed by a selection of well-developed melodies. The second movement is a sarabande in the French style, and the third a minuet and trio.
The final movement begins with a simple, four note motif derived from plainchant, then introduces four more melodies and develops them according to sonata form. A fugal coda ends the movement and the symphony in a brilliant manifestation of Mozart’s symphonic genius.