The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Madison Symphony Orchestra announces its 2020-21 season to mark The Beethoven Year. Plus, this Sunday afternoon, the Edgewood Chamber Orchestra also celebrates The Beethoven Year | February 21, 2020

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ALERT: The Madison Symphony Orchestra has just announced its 2020-21 season, which is heavy on works from Beethoven’s mid-career “Heroic” period to mark the Beethoven Year celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of the composer (below).

Other composers to be featured include Haydn, Mozart, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Sibelius, Honegger, Grofé, Kabalevsky and the African-American composer George Walker.

Familiar soloists include pianists Olga Kern and Garrick Ohlsson; violinists James Ehnes and Gil Shaham. Also soloing are retired UW-Madison professor and MSO principal oboe Marc Fink and MSO concertmaster Naha Greenholtz.

The traditional Christmas Concert is in early December.

The “Beyond the Score” program in late January, with actors from American Players Theater in Spring Green,  focuses on Stravinsky’s revolutionary “The Rite of Spring.” And the MSO Chorus will perform in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Choral” and “Missa Solemnis.”

All concerts will be conducted by John DeMain.

Here is a link to details about the season and how to subscribe: https://madisonsymphony.org/concerts-events/2020-2021-symphony-season-concerts/

Let The Ear know what you think of the new MSO season in the Comment section.

By Jacob Stockinger

This Sunday afternoon, Feb. 23, the Edgewood Chamber Orchestra of Edgewood College presents a special winter concert.

The performance is at 2:30 p.m. in McKinley Performing Arts Center of Edgewood High School, 2219 Monroe Street, on Madison’s near west side.

The conductor is Blake Walter (below, in a photo by John Maniaci) and the guest soloist is violinist David Huntsman.

The concert celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Ludwig van Beethoven.

The Chamber Orchestra will perform the Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36, by Beethoven, who seems influenced in this work by Mozart and especially his teacher Haydn but who moved beyond them in this symphony. (You can hear the innovative Scherzo movement, which replaced the traditional minuet, in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Also on the program are Handel’s Overture to the opera “Semele” and the virtuosic Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saens, which features soloist David Huntsman (below).

Tickets are $5 for general admission, and admission is free with an Edgewood High School or Edgewood College ID.


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1 Comment »

  1. I’ve made some critical remarks here in the past about the MSO’s programming but next years schedule looks brilliant (with one exception).

    Lots of good soloists, great music, and even some Madison premieres.

    I can only find this to quibble about and it comes for the final concert of the year with to me, the overrated Beethoven Massa Solemnis.

    The notes to that concert say this: “Yes, Mozart was his inspiration, but Haydn was Beethoven’s teacher. Concertmaster Naha Greenholtz performs the Violin Concerto in G major.”

    It is true that Beethoven studied with Haydn very briefly for he quickly became dissatisfied with Haydn). But hee also studied with a number of composers and teachers in the period 1792–1795, including Antonio Salieri and Johann Georg Albrechtsberger.

    What he said about Haydn is revealing: he said he never learned anything from him. In fact, God to Beethoven was Handel, not Haydn.

    Note too that Haydn had also critized the third of Beethoven’s Three Piano Trios, Opus 1, saying it needed more work but it is now recognized as one of Beethoven’s best works!

    See: https://www.classicfm.com/composers/beethoven/guides/beethoven-and-haydn-their-relationship/

    Comment by fflambeau — February 21, 2020 @ 1:36 am


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