A Musical Feast, Pro Musica Youth Chamber Orchestra

Sunday, November 11, 12:30pm
Bellas Artes, Hernandez Macias 75

A Musical Feast, Pro Musica Youth Chamber Orchestra

by Tim Hazell

Pro Musica’s Youth Chamber Orchestra has been busy rehearsing new additions to its repertoire and preparing for its upcoming concert on Sunday, November 11, at 12:30 pm. on the historic Bellas Artes main floor patio. The event is part of their ongoing commitment to bring classical music to people of all ages in a beautiful setting. Concerts are frequently attended by families who bring their children along. These recitals are becoming a wonderful way to begin a leisurely Sunday afternoon in San Miguel! Talented young university students and budding career musicians will showcase selections from Mozart, Haydn, Sibelius, Holst and Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture in C minor, Opus 62.

It has been stated that Beethoven, one of the greatest composers of dramatic abstract music, was never completely at home writing for the stage. He had no difficulty in composing a purely abstract overture, but beyond this point, his powers may have eluded him. Today, we infrequently hear his only opera, Fidelio, or the music for the ballet Creatures of Prometheus, stage plays King Stephen or The Ruins of Athens. Overtures such as the Egmont and Coriolan however, have become staples of the orchestral repertoire and examples of some of Beethoven’s best dramatic music.

Drama in theatrical performance doesn’t always conveniently follow the curve of a sonata. Mozart was able to modify the form through the subtle use of modulations to convey the stage tension accurately while maintaining a satisfying musical statement. Beethoven, despite his great powers as a composer, may never have been comfortable envisioning his abstract instrumental inspirations taking a subservient role to the action on the stage, hence his difficulties as a stage composer.

Beethoven may have written the Coriolan for an actual performance of the five-act tragedy or simply because he was inspired by it. The work comes from a particularly fertile year, 1807, between the composition of the Symphonies No. 4 and No. 5. The powerful chords that begin the overture are followed by an agitated theme in C minor and a lyrical one in E-flat major. Tension is maintained near the end by bringing back the opening theme in F minor instead of C minor and then following it with a dramatic coda that gets continuously softer and more fragmented.

The Pro Musica Youth Chamber Orchestra will be presenting our “Music For Everyone” series of Sunday concerts for the remainder of 2018 and into the new year, along with their now popular “Alternate Sundays” small ensemble events, featuring trios, quartets and quintets culled from the full orchestra membership. Comfortable seating is always provided for the audience. There is no charge, but donations are welcome. This exciting performance on Sunday, November 11 will attract returning aficionados and new audiences alike. Come early for a ringside seat!

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