All Roads Lead To Vienna At Baylor Symphony Concert

Sept. 14, 2004

by Richard Veit

The Baylor University Symphony Orchestra will open its new season with a concert of works from 18th, 19th and 20th-century Vienna - then, as now, considered to be the greatest music capital of the world - at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, in Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building.

Conducting the 100-member orchestra will be Stephen Heyde, Baylor's Mary Franks Thompson Director of Orchestral Activities and Conductor-in-Residence.

The program will open with the overture to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, an opera which premiered in Vienna's Burgtheater in the spring of 1786. This overture, a mischievous sonata form without development, perfectly captures the madcap social and political commentary of the play on which the opera was based, Beaumarchais's controversial La folle journée.

Next the Baylor Symphony will fast-forward to the year 1908 for a performance of the ingenious Passacaglia for Orchestra, Op. 1, by Schoenbergian protégé Anton Webern. Clocking in at slightly over 11 minutes, it is the longest single movement that this innovative Viennese miniaturist ever composed.

Following intermission, the orchestra will present one of the glories of the middle 1880s, the final symphonic work by German-cum-Austrian master Johannes Brahms. His Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98, was slow to be accepted by the cynical Viennese public, but it won the hearts of music lovers everywhere else in the world upon first hearing. By the time of the composer's death in 1897, even Vienna was captivated by the magnificent sounds of the work--and particularly the variations of its final movement.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor School of Music at 710-3991.

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