Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552
ahayes@semo.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHORAL UNION, ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM MAY 6 VIENNESE CLASSICS CONCERT

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 17, 2003 - The Department of Music at Southeast Missouri State University will present Viennese Classics at 8 p.m. May 6 in Academic Auditorium. The concert will feature the music of the great Viennese Classical composers Ludwig von Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

The program - Beethoven's "Egmont Overture," Schubert's "Mass in G," and the "Gloria" from Beethoven's "Mass in C Major" - is the fifth concert on the symphony's 2002-2003 subscription series and will be presented by the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, Choral Union and University Choir.

Sara Edgerton conducts the orchestra, and John Egbert directs the Choral Union and University Choir. Featured soloists for the performance will be Southeast faculty members Lori Shaffer, Leslie Jones and Christopher Goeke, and Southeast student Tyson Zahner of Jackson, Mo. Choral rehearsal accompanists are Mary Miller of Cape Girardeau for the Choral Union and Southeast student Tyson Wunderlich of Altenburg, Mo., for the University Choir.

The May 6 concert will bring to life the City of Vienna, one of the Crown Jewels for the Arts, which attracted artists and musicians from all over Europe. While Schubert was a native, Beethoven traveled to Vienna to immerse himself in the city's musical and cultural environment.

The decade of 1803-1813 was an exceptionally creative time in the life of Beethoven and saw the creation of several masterpieces, including the "Egmont Overture" and the "Mass In C Major." The "Overture" was composed in 1809-1810 as part of the incidental music to a play by the great German poet, Goethe, and it dramatizes the life of Count Egmont, who fought for freedom for the Netherlands. From the somber opening to the brilliant, fanfare conclusion, "Egmont" is a work of great expression and emotional depth.

In 1807, after Haydn's retirement from service with the Esterhazy family, Beethoven was commissioned to provide the annual mass for the wife of Prince Nikolaus. The "Gloria" is the second movement of his "Mass in C Major," and is a hymn of praise with powerful and exuberant opening and closing sections. The central portion portrays a more reflective mood for solo quartet which is echoed by the chorus.

Although some of the dramatic touches and dynamic extremes that would be so important in Beethoven's later music are somewhat restrained here, the "Mass" is no less a masterpiece. It is Classical in style, but one readily hears premonitions of what is to come with Beethoven. Donald J. Grout, noted musical historian wrote, ". . . he is neither Classic nor Romantic; his is Beethoven, and his figure towers like a colossus astride the two centuries."

Although Franz Schubert is generally viewed historically as a Romantic composer, his "Mass In G" is decidedly Classical in form and style. It is scored for choir, orchestra and soloists, and shows exceptional artistic integrity for a composer so young. It was written in just six days - when Schubert was 17 years old, but the beauty and simplicity of his melodies has etched Schubert an eternal place in the history of western music.

"We expect a big turnout for this concert because Viennese Classics is another outstanding installment in our journey through the vast sea of musical style," Egbert said. "The community doesn't often get the chance to hear Beethoven performed live, and it should be a real treat for us all. Everyone has been so supportive of the Choral Union/Symphony Orchestra concerts, and we constantly strive to bring the best of the world's great classical music to Southeast Missouri."

Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for University faculty and staff, and senior citizens; and $4 for students. Preferred-reserved seating (balcony and front/central floor) is available for $10 through the University Performing Box Office (651-2265). Reserved tickets are now available by calling the University Performing Box Office. General admission tickets will be available at the door.

Free concert shuttles will be provided to and from Academic Hall from parking lot #4 on Henderson between Broadway and Normal.

 

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