Master and protégé defines the relationship between the German composer Johannes Brahms and the Czech composer Antonin Dvořák. Their relationship is even more surprising when it's realized that Brahms was adverse to helping or advising younger composers. Even fellow composers, friends, and traveling companions such as Karl Goldmark and Hans Rott complained that Brahms would not do them the courtesy of critiquing their works. Neither did Brahms take in music students or teach at university level as did the more outgoing Dvořák.
And as their musical works aptly show, neither were the two composers of like disposition - the staid German Brahms as opposed to the festive Bohemian Dvořák.
Dvořák came to Brahms' attention when the older composer served as a judge on a committee which awarded annual monetary inducements to promising artists within the Austrian empire. In 1874 Dvořák sent in his first application for an Austrian State grant which the Ministry of Education at that time awarded every year to "young, poor and talented artists" (poets, artists and musicians). An adviser to the Musical Department of the Ministry was the musical theoretician and, for many years, musical critic of the Vienna daily Die Neue Freie Presse, Dr Eduard Hanslick; other members of the adjudicating board were Johannes Brahms and the director of the Vienna Court Opera, Johann Herbeck. Dvořák received the grant for five years in succession due in large part to the recommendations of Brahms and Hanslick. Brahms recognized immediately the extraordinary talent of the young Bohemian composer. Thereafter, Brahms' and Dvořák's relationship broadened and settled into one of deep respect and admiration for the other's work.
Colleen Elfline of Morrison, IL, and Alice Lind of Clinton, IA, emerged as co-winners in the 2015 Clinton Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artists Auditions held at Morrison High School on January 10, 2015. The judges for the event were overwhelmed with the quality of the applicants this year and insisted that two additional entrants receive special recommendations and recognition for the excellence of their auditions. The auditions provided that rare occasion when the judges wished they could have awarded several first places.
In addition to Colleen and Alice, the judges call special attention to Alex Mussmann, cello, sophomore at Unity Christian school in Fulton, IL, and Anna Curtis, trumpet, senior at West Carroll, IL, High School.
Alice and Colleen are invited to perform their pieces in concert at Morrison High School Auditorium on February 28, 2015, accompanied by the Clinton Symphony Orchestra.
Alto saxophonist Colleen Elfline will delight the audience with a piece by Jacques Ibert, Concertino da camera.
Each of the young soloists, Colleen and Alice, will receive a monetary award to use to further their music studies.
The first CSO concert of 2015 will present the music of two long-time audience favorites: Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák. Brahms' Tragic Overture, Op 81 is scheduled to open the concert. This overture is the contrasting 'sad' face to the composer's earlier 'happy' face, Academic Festival Overture, Op 80.
Before he sought a more international reputation, Antonín Dvořák was a passionate nationalist composer and only turned outward at the urging of his mentor, Johannes Brahms. Maestro Dollinger has slated a performance of Dvořák's last truly nationalistic symphony, the Symphony No 6 in D minor, Op 60. The exuberance and pathos that Dvořák pours into this testament to his Czech roots carries over quite easily to the emotional understanding of the audience.
The central portion of the concert will feature the 2015 Young Artists Auditions co-winners Colleen Elfline and Alice Lind performing with the Orchestra in works of their own choosing. Miss Lind has selected an aria from Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro, Voi che sapete; Miss Elfline will play the Concertino da Camera for Saxophone by Jacques Ibert.
Check back for the details as the concert date grows nearer.
Three German master composers share the program for the CSO's Spring Concert in Vernon Cook Theater, Clinton High School. Each composer represents a step forward in the evolution of symphonic music - Bach to Haydn to Beethoven.
Orchestral Suite (Overture) No 3 in D major, BWV1068 by Johann Sebastian Bach opens the concert. Bach died just as Franz Joseph Haydn was beginning his years as an apprentice, years that would lead him to compose the first of his hundred or so symphonies. His early Symphony No 3 in G major reflects the lingering spirit of Bach and looks forward to the dynamism that Haydn would imbue in this new form of musical expression.
Haydn's protégé Ludwig van Beethoven surprised even his mentor with the dramatic and emotional character of his Symphony No 3 in E-flat major, Op 55, Eroica. It was Beethoven who "changed music forever."
Check back for the details as the concert date grows nearer.
On June 7, 2015, the CSO again offers a free public concert for the citizens of Clinton and the surrounding areas. Riverview Park along the Clinton waterfront is the site of the concert, which begins at 6:30 pm. Friends of the symphony are encouraged to attend and bring along with them their family members and neighbors.
Musical selections cover a broad range including the light classical, Broadway, television, and motion pictures genres.
Symphony @ Riverview events in previous years have been well attended by the public in the Clinton area and from surrounding counties. To some it has become an annual social musical occasion much anticipated.
Check back for more specifics as the season progresses.
Joseph Haydn did not invent the symphony but he was responsible for making it a major form of musical expression in the Western classical tradition. The early transformation of the lowly sinfonie or sinfonia from a minor instrumental interlude within an opera or oratorio into a larger, stand-alone composition was given impetus first by the Mannheim School of composers, under the leadership of Carl Stamitz. Stamitz himself produced a good number of three movement symphonies designed more as light entertainment along the lines of so-called table music.
Haydn's first forays into the symphony followed the Mannheim prototype, three movements in contrasting tempos - fast, slow, fast. The Symphony No 3 in G major is typical of the style and manner of Haydn's orchestral writing around the time that Haydn took up employment as Kappelmeister with the Esterházy family, a noble, propertied clan that stretched back into the Hungarian Middle Ages. It was here on a vast estate, isolated from fellow composers and the 'new sounds' of music that Haydn honed his craft. It was here at Esterházy that he developed and expanded the simple symphony of the Mannheim school into the more complex four-movement symphony - a form that Ludwig van Beethoven, a Haydn student, would exploit and, in so doing, change the face of music forever.
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