November 2010
Prelude photo
Dear Friends:

Vadim Gluzman is one of the world’s great performing artists, a violin virtuoso of the highest caliber and a communicative musician of incredible depth and understanding.  He won the hearts of ProMusica audience members when he made his Southern Theatre debut as part of our 30th anniversary season.  We are thrilled that he is returning to Columbus to collaborate once again with our orchestra.  During this visit he plays a dual role, both of soloist and ensemble leader. Audience members will be able to hear him play solo violin, take center stage in a wonderful concerto by Felix Mendelssohn and a marvelous newer work, and as a chamber musician in Mendelssohn's astonishing Octet.  This is a “one of a kind” musical encounter not to be missed!

The Mostly Mendelssohn program pairs music of this prodigious master from the late Classic and early Romantic eras with completely contrasting music, by the 20th – century Soviet composer Alfred Schnittke.

Mendelssohn was born in 1809, the year that Papa Franz Joseph Haydn died.  Mendelssohn wrote symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano and chamber music. He also played an important role in the revival of interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The concerto you will hear was written by the young composer at the age of 13. Considered a child prodigy who could rival Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the adolescent genius modeled his virtuosic offering after a Baroque concerto. For years overshadowed by Mendelssohn’s incredibly popular        E minor violin concerto, the earlier concerto (scored for violin soloist and string orchestra) lay dormant for over a century. There is a fascinating description of how Yehudi Menuhin, himself a child prodigy, revived interest in the thrilling d minor concerto beginning in 1951. You can read about it at the Wikipedia by clicking here.

Even more amazing than a 13 year old writing a memorable violin concerto is this same boy wonder writing one of the greatest pieces of chamber music of all time, at the age of 16! Mendelssohn’s OCTET was composed in the autumn of 1825 and has stood to this date as one of the most revered compositions ever composed. Written for four violins, two violas, and two cellos (a unique combination), ProMusica’s own string players will join Vadim Gluzman in what I know will be a memorable performance.

Equally memorable will be your introduction to two marvelous works with a Russian spirit. Schnittke wrote his Suite in the Old Style for Violin and Stringsin 1972 and his Fugue for Solo Violin in 1953. The Suite is in five movements: a Pastorale; a Ballet; a Menuetto; a Fugue; and a Pantomime.

You can read about this fascinating composer on his publisher’s website by clicking here.

Pianist Jonathan Feldman wrote the following about the composer and his Suite in the Old Style for Violin and Strings:

Perhaps the most important Russian composer since Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke wrote in a variety of genres. He was a prolific composer of scores for the Soviet film industry. Thematic material from three film scores forms the basis for "Suite in the Old Style" - a charming pastiche with elements of neo-classicism. Originally composed for violin and piano, the score was first performed in Moscow in 1972 by violinist Mark Lubotsky and pianist Liubov Yedlina. Violist-conductor Vladimir Spivakov asked the composer to make an orchestral version, which he subsequently conducted with his renowned chamber orchestra the Moscow Virtuosi.

The Pastorale and Ballet movements are from a comedy film about a dentist's amorous adventures. The Pantomime and Minuet are from scores for animated children's films. The Fugue comes from a documentary about a sportsman's double life ("Sport, Sport, Sport"). The entire score reflects the varied sound world and fertile creative imagination of Alfred Schnittke.

The entire concert reflects the varied musical life and creative imagination of our special guest artist, Vadim Gluzman. He conceived of this wonderful mix of splendid music and will deliver performances of insight and passion.

Spread the news, sharing the word of this “MUST ATTEND” event! Invite lots of friends. You might even want to attend both Saturday and Sunday evening’s concerts. Whichever night(s) you attend, plan on sticking around after the performance(s) to partake of CODA, a post-concert conversation where you are invited interact with the guest artist and your friends.

ProMusica continues to offer amazing musical encounters – for you, our very special audience. ENJOY!!

Yours sincerely,

Timothy Russell                                                                                                              

Music Director

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