Archive for February 1st, 2010

Meet the Musician: Adrienne Rönmark

Although Adrienne Rönmark, 27, is one of the DSO ‘s newest violinists, in a way she has been with the orchestra all her life. The daughter of two retired DSO players – principal tuba Wesley Jacobs and cellist Debra Fayroian, with 38 and 30 years respectively spent with the DSO – Rönmark has been around the orchestra since birth and often finds herself sitting next to a player who changed her diaper when she was a baby. READ MORE

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Symphony No. 2

Johannes Brahms
B. May 7, 1833 in Hamburg, Germany
D. April 3, 1897 in Vienna, Austria

In his Second Symphony, Brahms abandoned the tragic Romanticism, the Sturm und Drang, which had launched his earlier C Minor Symphony and formed the premise for its triumphant conclusion.   In its place he offered an expansive lyricism and, in many passages, an undeniably pastoral charm.  Karl Geiringer, one of the composer’s biographers, likened Brahms’s first two symphonies to the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies of Beethoven, in which epic struggles gives way to essentially tranquil nature music.  And yet there is more to Brahms’s Second Symphony than these observations imply.  An artist of Brahms’ ambition and power would not have limited himself in a major work to carefree sentiments and bucolic impressions.  And the imposing scale and emotional complexity of the Second Symphony leave no doubt that it is indeed a major work.

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Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

Samuel Barber
B. March 9, 1910 in West Chester, Pennsylvania
D. Jan., 23, 1981 in New York City
Samuel Barber became one of the most consistently admired and frequently performed American composers of the 20th century.  He developed a strongly individual musical language rooted in the lyrical and dramatic traditions of Romanticism and he composed in standard musical forms inherited from the 18th and 19th centuries.  He was the nephew of American operatic contralto Louise Homer and his career was strongly encouraged by her and her husband, song composer Sidney Homer.  Barber’s masterpieces include the opera Vanessa, the reflective song cycle, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and the celebrated Adagio for Strings.

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Concertato for Orchestra “Moby Dick”

Peter Mennin
B. May 17, 1923 in Erie, Pennsylvania
D. June 17, 1983 in New York City

Late in 1951, a libretto based on the Melville novel Moby Dick was submitted to the composer to consider as material for an opera.  Reading the libretto in rough sketch made him return to the novel with renewed interest.  The result of the re-study of this great work was the composition of the Concertato. In a letter discussing the work, Mennin cast some light on his composition: “This is a dramatic work for orchestra, motivated by the Melville novel, and depicts the emotional impact of the work as a whole, rather than musically describing isolated moments.”  

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