Submitted by Dale Gedcke, publicity manager for the Oak Ridge Philharmonia
A concert on Saturday by the Oak Ridge Philharmonia will feature an abundance of ear-pleasing music, a press release said.
Concert selections will include Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony,” the “Blue Danube Waltz” by Johann Strauss II, “Hungarian Dance No. 5” by Brahms, and the enchanting “Andante Movement” from Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 21.”
“As a special treat, harpist Kari Novilla will perform a farewell solo before beginning her university studies,” the press release said. “Here are the descriptions that make this concert one you will not want to miss.”
Kari Novilla began her musical studies with the violin at age four, then moved to harp at the age of seven. She currently studies with William Lovelace (past president of the American Harp Society) and Elzbieta Szmyt (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University—Bloomington). She will be graduating this May with both her high school diploma and an associate degree from Walters State Community College, summa cum laude, the press release said.
“From performing in Carnegie Hall to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles this past year, she plans to make music a lifetime career,” the release said. “She has received a full scholarship to attend Indiana University—Bloomington, where she will be double majoring in harp performance and cytotechnology this fall. She continues to perform for weddings, receptions, and other civic events around the East Tennessee area.”
Novilla has selected “Impromptu, Op. 28, No. 3” by Hugo Reinhold (1854-1935) for her solo, the press release said.
“This piece was originally composed for piano and published in 1881,” the release said. “But it is often played on a harp, which offers a softer texture. Intriguingly, the tempo is marked ‘as fast as possible.’ Fasten your seat belts!”
The “Fifth Symphony” by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is so famous it almost needs no introduction. Although preceded by many, it quickly became the standard against which all other symphonies are measured, the press release said. The symphony was written from 1804 to 1808, and it premiered in 1808 in a marathon concert, along with Beethoven’s “Sixth Symphony” and a number of other new Beethoven compositions. It comprises four movements, with the third movement transitioning directly into the fourth without pause.
“As with most of Beethoven’s symphonies, the style is strong and dramatic,” the press release said. “It is best known for the motif in the opening bars, ‘dit-dit-dit-dah.’ In 1940, during World War II, this was recognized by BBC Radio as the Morse Code for the letter V. Subsequently, the opening bars of the symphony were often played on the Radio Londres broadcasts to occupied France as part of the ‘V for Victory’ campaign.”
The “Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) is probably the most famous waltz of all time, the press release said. It was originally written for a February 15, 1867, choral performance, where the reception was unenthusiastic, probably because of the uninspiring lyrics. Strauss revised it as a purely orchestral composition for the Paris World’s Fair later that year, and that version has been responsible for its outstanding popularity, the press release said.
In 1889, Franz von Gernerth wrote new words for the waltz, and that rendition occasionally can be heard, ending with alternate “Coda I.” The composition actually incorporates an “Introduction,” five individual waltzes, and a lengthy “Coda II.”
It is the first waltz that is readily recognized as the “Blue Danube,” and this theme returns to finish the coda, the press release said. In Vienna, Johann Strauss II was known as “the Waltz King,” during an era when dances required hiring live musicians.
“This waltz may make you feel like dancing,” the press release said.
“Wistful” and “enchanting” are the adjectives that seem to describe the opening melody of the “Andante” second movement in “Piano Concerto No. 21” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), the release said.
“Once you listen to this melody, it will haunt you for days,” the press release said. “It must have had that same effect on Neil Diamond, because he used it for his vocal hit, ‘Song, Sung Blue.’ It has seen popular use in a number of venues, the most notable being the 1967 Swedish film, ‘Elvira Madigan.’ The name of that film has become the signature identity for this 1785 composition by Mozart. Relax, and let your imagination wander as you listen to Dr. Marcelo Urias tickle the ivories on this delightful movement.”
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) surged in fame when he published his “21 Hungarian Dances for piano” in 1869.
“Evidently, every aspiring pianist was eager for a copy of the manuscript,” the press release said. “Most of these have been orchestrated for other instrumentation by various arrangers. The overwhelming favorite, number 5, was orchestrated by Albert Parlow (1824-1888) and published in 1876. This dance was based on the csárdás by Béla Kéler titled ‘Bártfai emlék.’ It is unmistakably recognized by its gypsy flavor and the alternating slow-fast phrases in the middle of the piece. Get up and dance if you can keep up with the tempo!”
To thoroughly enjoy these engaging compositions, join the Oak Ridge Philharmonia on Saturday, May 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge. The church is located at the corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike and LaFayette Drive. Admission is free, although the orchestra appreciates modest donations at the door to support routine operating expenses.
The Oak Ridge Philharmonia is a 501(c)3, nonprofit volunteer organization, performing under the baton of Conductor and Music Director Marcelo Urias. Anyone wishing to regularly participate in the orchestra is encouraged to contact Personnel Manager Cyndi Jeffers at [email protected].
“Usually, we can accommodate additional string players, and occasionally there are openings in the brass, woodwind, and percussion sections,” the press release said. “The orchestra welcomes experienced musicians of all ages. The Oak Ridge Philharmonia is a rewarding venue for instrumentalists who enjoy playing for an appreciative audience, with music ranging from Baroque through Classical to Contemporary.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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