Continuing its exploration of the music of Benjamin Britten, Ronald Zollman will lead the Carnegie Mellon Chamber Orchestra this Sunday in a performance of another of the English composer's best-loved works. Moving away from the lighthearted insouciance of A Simple Symphony, which was featured on their last program, the Chamber Orchestra will instead delve into Britten's Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. This mercurial and challenging piece was an homage to the composer Frank Bridge, Britten's friend and mentor; it was also the first work that brought Britten international recognition in the 1930s.
Britten's artistic renown and influence later brought him into contact with another, younger musical compatriot, Sir Michael Tippett. In 1952, Britten brought together several promising English composers and charged them with writing commemorative music for the coronation of Elizabeth II. Tippett's answer was to compose a set of movements based loosely on Sellinger's Round, a popular song of the English Renaissance. Using this dance tune as a starting point, Tippett goes further, quoting many recognizable themes from the whole history of British music, including Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas, Thomas Arne's anthem Rule Brittannia, and the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, The Yeoman of the Guard.
The concert will also include Mozart's beloved "Haffner" Symphony, No. 35 in D Major. This work is always a favorite with audiences, and presents no small challenge to the players! Look out for the last movement, marked Presto, one of Mozart's fastest and most dazzling works...
This concert will take place at 7:30 pm on Sunday, February 17th at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland. Tickets are $5 general admission and can be purchased online or by calling 1-888-71-TICKETS. Students are free by showing valid ID at the door.