Friday, January 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm
BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto
STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring
David Amado, conducting
Elena Urioste, violin
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Elena Urioste comes back to Delaware to play Beethoven’s monumental Violin Concerto. You remember Beethoven. The angry guy who deeply wanted to believe in Fraternity, Liberty, and Equality. There is no better musical form than the concerto to explore those values. A soloist in a context of a larger society‑‑ a larger culture. The soloist interacts‑‑ sometimes in harmony, sometimes in conflict, with the environment‑‑ always looking for a way to foster and grow the relationship. Beethoven’s only violin concerto begins with a famous timpani solo‑‑four “d”s‑‑already a rebellious conceit‑‑-starting with a drum solo‑‑but it provides the musical DNA for the whole work which is expansive‑‑at turns dramatic and lyrical.
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, like the opening of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, places high structural and aesthetic value on percussion. A primitivistic ballet score, the Rite was received at its premier with booing and hissing that devolved into a riot. But it was not the music that incited violence, in spite of the score’s raw, untethered energy. Instead, it was the dancing which seemed to violate every tenet of classical ballet. As it happens, the score violates a lot of old, and long standing, tenets too. Bitonality; lopsided rhythmic grooves; brazen dissonance; and wildly inventive orchestration make Rite of Spring sound fresh and shocking no matter how many times it is played.