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Andrews University Symphony Orchestra
November 10, 2001
Mozart & More, Opus 2

Mozart: Divertimento in D Major, K. 136 (125a) | Rodrigo: Fantasia para un gentilhombreFauré: Pavane| Mozart: Symphony No. 31 in D Major, K. 297 (Paris)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Divertimento in D Major, K. 136(125a)

Allegro
Andante
Presto

The lively Divertimento, K. 136 by the 16-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart springs from a particularly fruitful period of composition following his second successful trip to Italy. Although we have no specific information on the circumstances of composition, we do know that it was written in a group of three, perhaps grouped for possible publication. Scored for string quartet, the work enjoys equal success whether played one on a part, or with parts doubled in a small string orchestra. According to the convention of the time, the term Divertimento normally denotes a light work for entertainment purposes consisting of several movements, including at least a menuetto. Divertimento, K. 136 takes more the form of an Italian sinfonia with three movements, fast-slow-fast. The sunny opening Allegro sports considerable dialog between the violin parts. The serene Andante in 3/4 time has the feel of a stylized polonaise. Returning to the cheery mood of the opening, the Presto contrasts staccato and legato themes, the legato one reminiscent of the main theme of the first movement.

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Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999)
Fantasia para un gentilhombre

Villano y Ricerare
Españoleta y Fanfare de la Caballería de Nápoles
Danza de las hachas
Canario

Joaquin Rodrigo was the aural poet of 20th century Spain. Although he wrote for many instruments and in many genres, he is particularly noted for his fine guitar music. He composed over thirty significant works for the quintessential Spanish instrument including five works for guitar(s) and orchestra. The Fantasia para un Gentilhombre celebrates two fine Spanish gentlemen, Spanish guitarist extra ordinaire Andrés Segovia, for whom the work was written, and 17th century Spanish court guitarist Gaspar Sanz, upon whose dance compositions the work is based. The fantasia was written in 1954 and was premiered in 1958 with Segovia as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. The piece is scored for guitar and small orchestra: strings, piccolo, flute, oboe, bassoon, and trumpet. The composer equates this orchestration with the "manner of strong spices that were so popular in the victuals of the period." The original Sanz dances are quite short, so Rodrigo expands them into colorful dialogs for guitar and orchestra "old wine in new bottles." The piece falls in four movements. Villano, the strings begin the melody (a dance that could be sung) over guitar chords before the solo takes up the melody. This leads directly into Ricercare, a fugue which Sanz sketched briefly and Rodrigo developed. The guitar leads the way with different instruments following, stating their fugal entries. Españoleta is a lilting dance with a "trio" section Fanfare of the Neapolitan Chivalry--a fanfare with the sound of trumpets and drums harking back to the time when Naples was ruled by Spain. The work concludes with two quick dances: one to be danced with torches and Canario, a popular folk dance from the Canary Islands.

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Gabriel Fauré
Pavane

In addition to being known for his fine songs and the teacher of eminent students, French composer Gabriel Fauré has also gained fame for his music in other genres, including chamber music and orchestral pieces. In a letter to his wife, the composer alludes to the creative process involved in the genesis of his Pavane, Op. 50, "While I was thinking about a thousand different things of no importance whatsoever, a kind of rhythmical theme in the style of a Spanish dance took form in my brain.... This theme developed by itself, became harmonized in different ways, changed and modulated; in effect, it germinated by itself." Written during the summer of 1887, it received its first performance in Paris a year later. Scored for orchestra with chorus ad libitum, the piece is sometimes performed with chorus, as a part of a dramatic entertainment (so popular in 19th century France) and as a ballet, but most commonly as we hear it tonight, an orchestral piece. With the Pavane, a stately processional dance of the Renaissance, Fauré joins many of his peers in paying homage to music of the past. The piece has served as a model for some of his younger contemporaries; Debussy in the Passepied from Suite bergamasque and Ravel in Pavane pour une infante defunte, which was written while he was a student of Faure at the Paris Conservatoire. Scored for winds in pairs and strings, the Pavane is built on one basic melody, first announced on solo flute against pizzicato strings, with other instruments taking it up in turn.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Symphony No. 31 in D Major,K. 297 (Paris)

Allegro assai
Andante
Allegro

Of the three Mozart symphonies that have the names of great cities associated with them, it is Symphony in D Major, K. 297 (Paris), that has the most cause to connect it with that metropolis. While the Linz and Prague symphonies were merely written in those cities, the Paris was written for the particular forces of the Parisian orchestra, and most of all to please the preferences of the local populace. The work was commissioned in 1778 by Jean Le Gros, impresario of the Concert Spirituel (a famous 18th century concert series) and was dedicated to him. Mozart took advantage of the available forces of the Parisian orchestra and scored the work for the largest instrumentation that he had employed for a symphony to that pointstrings, pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and timpani. The unusual amount of corrections found on the manuscript attest to his care with this work. Initially considering it foolish, he also concerned himself with the local convention of premiere coup d'archet -- beginning the piece with a grand sweep of unison strings. He not only used the cliché, but made it all the grander by doubling the string sweep with winds. The work received an enthusiastic hearing at its June 18, 1778 Concert Spirituel premiere and made Mozart so happy that "I went to the Palais Royal, where I had a large ice, said the rosaryas I had vowed to do and went home."

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Program notes by Linda Mack. Copyright 1999.
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