Oct. 10 and 11 — CLARENDON and MIDDLEBURY — The Champlain Philharmonic will present its fall concert series entitled “Oktobermusik” on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Mill River Union High School and Sunday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury under the direction of guest conductor, and Middlebury College professor, Larry Hamberlin. The program includes lush and masterful works of Wagner, Mozart, and Brahms — material to truly sink into the season and all the beauty fall in Vermont has to offer.
The orchestra will open the program with the “Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg” from the opera in three acts written and composed by Richard Wagner. The entire opera itself is among the longest operas still performed today, usually a whopping four and a half hours! The overture really offers something for the whole orchestra, with the lyrical and majestic play between the woodwind and string lines, but the real treat is the wall of sound that the brass provides in the ceremonial master’s theme.
The program will also feature the Champlain Philharmonic’s own co-principal clarinetist Margaret Roddy as soloist on Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K622.” The concerto was written for the second clarinetist of the Viennese imperial court orchestra, Anton Stadler and was completed just two months prior to Mozart’s death. Historical accounts note that Mozart gave Stadler the completed concerto on Oct. 9 or 10, 1791 to later be premiered at a benefit concert in Prague on Oct. 16. Incidentally, the Philharmonic’s first concert will fall 224 years, perhaps to the day, that Stadler received the concerto. The work has secured a comfortable place at the top of the woodwind solo repertoire, a true and timeless masterpiece. One published review of the 1791 premiere stated that “If any fault had to be found in Mozart, it could surely be only this: that such abundance of beauty almost tires the soul, and the effect of the whole is sometimes obscured thereby. But happy the artist whose only fault lies in all too great perfection.”
Last, but certainly not least, the orchestra will close the concert with Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73.” A harsh self-critic, it took Brahms 14 years to compose his first symphony, but since it was so well received by the public, his confidence was bolstered and he was able to turn out the second symphony only a year later in 1877. Again, the public loved it, so much so that at its premiere, the third movement was played twice.
Tickets are available at the door for both performances :$15 general admission, $10 seniors, and $5 students. Advance tickets for the Middlebury performance may be purchased by calling 802-382-9222 or www.townhalltheater.org.