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UB Symphony Gets Romantic

UB Symphony Gets Romantic
UB Concerto Competition Emily Belote is the featured soloist

Music Director Daniel Bassin will lead the UB Symphony Orchestra in its final performance of the semester this Friday at 7:30 pm at Slee Hall on the UB Amherst Campus. In the few years that he has been music director, Bassin has consistently managed to make his concerts memorable through innovative programming which is no easy task, especially for a non-conservatory student orchestra. Bassin managed to successfully make the seemingly impossible happen, as when he pulled off the decades long-overdue, and still talked about, 2013 Buffalo area premiere in 2013 of Lutosławski’s challenging Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, in a remarkable performance by the young cellist T.J. Borden.

Bassin has titled this concert “Carl Maria von Weber and the Lineage of Romanticism” and it features Emily Belote, the UB Concerto Competition winner, as soloist in Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F-minor. While the program will conclude with selections from Bizet’s Carmen Suites, as selected by the orchestra members, Bassin notes that the program will begin with a concert rarity: Mozart’s “so-called” Symphony ‘No. 37’ in G-Major.

“Mozart composed his Symphony No. 36 in C-Major during a November 1783 stopover in Linz, Austria,” says Bassin. “The work was completed in only four days, owing to the promise of a performance by a local nobleman in honor of the composer’s presence in the town. Also featured on that concert was a work by Mozart’s fellow Salzburg composer, Michael Haydn (younger brother of Franz Joseph Haydn), which Mozart adapted for his own purposes. While we have known for over a century that this highly classical, three-movement symphony was by Michael Haydn and not by Mozart, the original editors of the complete edition of Mozart’s works included it among his numbered symphonies, after the ‘Linz’ Symphony, No. 36, and before the ‘Prague,’No. 38, basing their findings on a copy of the work in Mozart’s hand, as used in that November 4th 1783 concert. The reason for including this rare, hybrid Mozart and Michael Haydn work is twofold: Carl Maria von Weber studied with Michael Haydn as a young man, and also, the moment in musical time captured by Mozart shows something of the evolution of towards the romantic.”

“The feature work on the program, however, is not this opening symphony (which lasts only about twelve minutes in performance), nor the ever-popular Carmen pieces (which act as a kind of built-in encore set), but the masterful Clarinet Concerto No. 1 by Carl Maria von Weber. Weber’s work was hugely influential on the Romantic Movement in music, and most notably on Richard Wagner. Though he died at the tragically young age of 39, and a year before Beethoven, his dramatic musical concepts, his championing of a German school of opera and his uniquely rich and vivid sound worlds cast an influence on musical romantics for generations. The stormy tonality and the rich and imaginative use of both the solo instrument and orchestra make this concerto a true master piece.”

“It has been a real pleasure getting to work with Emily and her teacher, Jean Kopperud, as well as my students in the UBSO. Last year, we had the honor of working up the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with Yuki Numata Resnick’s student, Aidan Scoccia (UBSO Concert Master), and our ability to form this fun and historically-linked program around Emily’s Weber is a true highlight of this year’s concert season.”

Admission is free.


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