Baylor Symphony Orchestra Plays Music of Mozart and Berlioz

September 18, 2015
The Baylor Symphony Orchestra will present its first full concert of the 2015-2016 season on Thursday, October 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Concert Hall, located within the Glennis McCrary Music Building. This 88-member ensemble is led by Stephen Heyde, Baylor University’s Conductor-in-Residence.
Opening the program will be the overture to Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera from 1789, Così fan tutte. This sparkling work received its grand premiere in Vienna’s Burgtheater on January 26, 1790, but a promising initial run was halted after only five performances with the death of Joseph II on February 20 and the subsequent period of court mourning. Never again would the composer see Così fan tutte presented in Vienna. The opera lost its momentum, and for many decades it fell into the shadows of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Die Zauberflöte. Only since the middle of the twentieth century has it been elevated to its rightful stature in the pantheon of operatic masterworks.
French composer Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique was first performed in Paris under François-Antoine Habaneck on December 5, 1830. A significantly re-worked version was performed two years later, along with Berlioz’s sequel, the lyric monodrama Lélio, ou Le Retour á la vie (Lélio, or The Return to Life). Through its five programmatic movements, Symphonie fantastique tells the story of an artist’s self-destructive passion for a beautiful woman. The symphony describes his obsession and dreams, tantrums and moments of tenderness, and visions of suicide and murder, ecstasy and despair. The story is a self-portrait of its composer, Hector Berlioz, and the woman in question is Irish actress Harriet Smithson.
This concert is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at 254-710-3991.
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