Spring Concert

May 25, 2021

Program Notes

Conductor biographies

Elliana Phillips is serving as Assistant Conductor for the orchestra. She’s an OSU senior majoring in viola performance with additional concentrations in violin, conducting, and German. She grew up in Canby and is now from Bozeman, Montana.

Dr. Marlan Carlson is an OSU professor of music, music director of the Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra, and holder of the Otwell Endowed Chair for University Orchestras. In the course of his career at OSU, Carlson served as chair of the music department for 17 years, as well as resident director of study abroad programs in England, Germany, Italy, Austria, and France. He has also traveled to China many times to conduct professional symphony orchestras in a number of cities, including Shanghai and Tianjin.

Lawrence Johnson is the horn instructor at OSU and a staff conductor with the Portland Youth Philharmonic, where he leads the Conservatory Orchestra. He is also a co-founder and president of Music Camps at Wallowa Lake, an organization that runs music camps each summer in Eastern Oregon. He has performed with many orchestras in the northwest and internationally.


Symphony String Ensemble
Conducted by Elliana Phillips

Brandenburg Concerto #3 (BWV 1046-51) — Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

Bach composed his famous collection of six concertos, written for the Margrave of Brandenburg, between 1708-1721. The concertos disappeared completely for 130 years, then they were accidentally discovered in the library of the Prussian king and released as printed works for the first time in 1851. A concerto usually involves a solo instrument (or combination of solo instruments) and an ensemble. In this concerto, which is a favorite of many concert-goers, groups of solo voices alternate with the full ensemble, so that the spotlight continually spreads among all the musicians. The String Ensemble will play the first and third movements.

Sextet from Capriccio, Op. 85 — Richard Strauss (1864–1949)

Richard Strauss’s last opera, “Capriccio”, was produced in 1942. The opera opens with this prelude for string sextet that is a combination of Baroque counterpoint, Classical development, and theatrical dynamics. The opening bars feature a melodic motive that is developed and heard throughout the piece.

Symphony String Ensemble
Conducted by Marlan Carlson

Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48– Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 –1893

Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48, was composed in 1880 in four movements. The first performance was given on October 30, 1881, in Saint Petersburg. Anton Rubinstein declared it Tchaikovsky’s best piece. The ensemble will play three movements: Andante – Allegro, Valse, and Finale Tema Russo.

Various parts and/or themes from the Serenade have been used in movies and TV shows, and even as lead-in music for commercials in a football broadcast in 1983. The Valse movement has  become a popular piece in its own right and features one of Tchaikovsky’s best-known melodies. Arranged for soprano and full orchestra for the 1945 musical Anchors Aweigh, it also accidentally accompanied the final countdown for the Trinity atomic bomb test July 16, 1945, when it was being broadcast by a radio station on the same frequency being used to transmit test communications.


Symphony Brass Ensemble
Conducted by Larry Johnson

Hungarian March from the Damnation of Faust — Hector Berlioz (1803–69)

The Damnation of Faust is an opera (also sometimes described as a cantata) based on the dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Most of the work’s fame has come through concert performances of various parts, especially of the Hungarian March. The music was originally composed by János Bihari, a Gypsy fiddler, but it found a wide audience thanks to Franz Liszt, who transmuted it into one of his Hungarian Rhapsodies. Berlioz described the initial Hungarian audience’s response to the March as “a volcano in eruption,” against which “the thunders of the orchestra were powerless. . . . We had to repeat the piece, of course. The second time, the audience could scarcely contain itself. . . . It was a good thing that I had placed [it] at the end of the program, for anything we had tried to play after it would have been lost.”

Gathering of the Armies from Lohengrin — Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

Lohengrin is an opera in three acts, with both music and words written by Wagner. It was first performed in 1850. The Gathering of the Armies is a dramatic fanfare from Act III, as King Heinrich appears and assembles his troops to go into battle next to the River Scheldt.

Siegfried’s Funeral March from Goetterdaemmerung — Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

Goetterdaemmerung is the last in Richard Wagner’s cycle of four music dramas titled Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, or The Ring for short). It received its premiere in August, 1876, as part of the first complete performance of the Ring. The Funeral March occurs in the final act as an interlude as scenes are changed.

Fanfares Liturgique — Henri Tomasi (1901-1971)

Tomasi wrote these fanfares (originally Fanfares concertantes) as part of his opera, Don Juan de Mañara. Written in 1942-1943, they were premiered in concert in 1947 in Monte Carlo, where Tomasi had just become conductor of the opera, and published in 1952.


Symphony Woodwind Ensemble
Conducted by Marlan Carlson

Suite for Woodwinds from Don Giovani, arr by Josef Triebensee — Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791)

This Suite is based on music from Mozart’s opera, Don Giovanni, which was completed in October, 1787. The ensemble will play the Overture and four of the selections from the full suite.

Octet Partita, Op. 67 — Franz Krommer (1759-1831)

Franz Krommer was a prolific composer, including music for woodwinds in which he used  independent lines (mostly without the usual doubling of parts), resulting in a wonderful blend of sonorities and variations of tone color. This piece, written in 1807, has four movements. The ensemble will play the first and third movements: Allegro Vivace, and Menuetto.

Serenade for Winds, Op 44,  — Antonín Leopold Dvořák (1841-1904)

Written in 1878, this four-movement Serenade is composed in a ‘Slavonic’ style, though not quoting folk songs directly; it has an upbeat quality that makes it a favorite of music lovers. The middle part of the second movement contains rhythms reminiscent of very fast Bohemian dances. The ensemble will play the first and second movements: Moderato quasi Marcia, and Menuetto.

Boogie — Peter Lawrance (1954- )

The finale for our “outside-the-box” 2020-2021 season is an “outside-the-box” selection that’s not from our usual list of concert repertoire. Peter Lawrance has played the horn in symphony, chamber, and opera orchestras across Britain, has a long list of publications including compositions for use by that country’s classroom teachers, and his music is included in the exam syllabus of four different examination Boards. We hope this fun piece will get your toes tapping and your heart looking forward to next season!