Rochester, NY –The players of the Rochester Philharmonic once again will prove their musical prowess and versatility on Thursday, April 17 and Saturday, April 19 at 8 p.m. as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra presents an all-orchestral concert of Mozart & Strauss. The first half of this program features Mozart’s Overture to his opera La clemenza di Tito and his “Prague” Symphony, No. 38. Strauss’ lovely Serenade in E-flat Major for Winds and his Suite from “Le Bourgeois gentilhomme” round out the second half of this charming concert. Christopher Seaman hosts the pre-concert chat at 7 p.m.
A champion of symphonic composition, Mozart provides the perfect opening to this all-orchestral evening. His Overture to the theatrical opera La Clemenza di Tito portrays the atmosphere and royal intrigue of ancient Rome. Although the opera is well-loved today, it was not well received at its 1791 Vienna premiere. However, at the same that Mozart’s fame declined in Vienna, his music exploded in popularity in Prague. Audiences in Prague loved his music, especially The Marriage of Figaro, and invited him to hear their rendition of his opera. Touched by their enthusiasm, he dedicated his Symphony No. 38 to the people of Prague, who were delighted by the musical quotes drawn from their beloved Marriage of Figaro. This “Prague” Symphony will give listeners a taste for some of Mozart’s most elaborate and complicated orchestral writing.
The second half of the program turns to the luscious music of Richard Strauss, beginning with the enchanting Serenade in E-flat major, a work for small chamber ensemble comprised entirely of wind instruments. Even though Strauss composed this work at the tender age of 17, he had grown up with wind music throughout his childhood (his father was a French horn player), giving him a deep understanding of the wind ensemble genre. After the sweet sensuality of the Serenade, the RPO closes the concert with his Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentillehomme. Inspired by Molière’s play of the same name, Le Bourgeois Gentillehomme follows the story of a self-taught middle-class man who believes he can “buy” his way into the upper class by engaging in the activities normally pursued by the aristocracy. With titles such as “The Fencing Master,” “The Dance of the Tailors” and “The Dinner,” each movement of Le Bourgeois Gentillehomme guides audiences through this satirical work of witty melodies and delightful dances.
Tickets for these performances are $22-$57, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100); in person from the RPO Box Office, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.); and seven days a week at area Wegmans. A convenience fee may apply. Students and senior citizens are entitled to a 20% discount on advance single ticket purchases as well as half-price rush tickets beginning at 10 a.m. on the concert day.
The Philharmonics Series is sponsored by The Eastman Kodak Company and Bausch & Lomb. Christopher Seaman’s appearance is made possible by Friends of Christopher; his pre-concert chat is made possible by Drs. Robin and Michael Weintraub in memory of their parents. The RPO gratefully acknowledges PAETEC Communications Inc. for the PAETEC Philharmonic Partners program, which offers $5 Philharmonics Series tickets to local college students with valid ID.
Celebrating its 85th season in 2007-08, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music. The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community. The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County and the City of Rochester.