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Can Music be Vertical and Horizontal?


Event  Information

Raleigh -- ( Sun., Nov. 21, 2010 )

Philharmonic Association
Performed by Triangle Youth Philharmonic, Hugh Partridge, conductor
$10, seniors/children $5. -- Meymandi Concert Hall at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts , 919/645-8435 , http://philharmonic-association.org/ -- 3:00 PM

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November 21, 2010 - Raleigh, NC:


by Hugh Partridge
Artistic Director

The Triangle Youth Philharmonic will feature two contrasting works on its opening concert on November 21 at 3:00 pm. One will be a symphony from the Classical period of composition, and the other, an orchestral showpiece. It turns out that it’s more difficult to perform a work by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven than some of the later composers like Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky. The reason is that Classical period composers thought vertically, and this requires incredibly precise playing by the performers. Rhythms must line up perfectly, but yet the music must flow and have a melodic line that connects. Josef Haydn was known as the developer of the modern symphonic form. Many of Haydn’s symphonies were given names for various reasons, such as the "Surprise" for a loud chord in the middle of the slow movement or the "Military" for the use of percussion instruments.  TYP will be performing the "Drum Roll." This is his Symphony No. 103, the next to the last symphony that he wrote. You’ll need to come to the concert to find out why it is called the "Drum Roll."

The second half of the program will be devoted to Pictures at an Exhibition. Almost everyone who has heard a symphony orchestra knows of this work. It originally was a piece for two pianos, composed by Mussorgsky. Later Ravel made it one of the most popular pieces in the orchestral literature, arranging it for symphony orchestra. Pictures is a visit to an art show, and we have sections called "Promenades," going from painting to painting. This music requires entirely different skills than early classical compositions. It’s more complex in its musical gestures, requiring waves of sound that go through the strings, winds, brass, and percussion. Instead of the necessity of strict vertical coordination in the score, it requires much more linear connection skills of the players because the parts don’t consistently line up rhythmically.

To say this is a challenging program for young musicians is an understatement. TYP has some of the finest young musicians you will find anywhere, and you will be rewarded with an outstanding concert on November 21st in Meymandi Concert Hall.