So I played my final UT Symphony Orchestra concert last Wed. I have completed my large ensemble degree requirements and will be student teaching. I truly love orchestral playing so it was a little sad playing my last concert at UT, but it was superb! I had the opportunity to play principal viola.
My friend TK soloed with us on Mozarts bassoon concerto in b flat major. Mozart wrote this piece when he was 18 years old! TK did an amazing job, and flutist Joanna Martin performed Frank Martins Ballade for Flute and Orchestra. Both were winners of the UT Wind Solo Competition.
Along with our fabulous wind players, Wes Schultz conducted the orchestra in the award winning piece, Rainbow Body, by Christopher Theofanidis. In the words of the composer, this piece represents the idea that when an enlightened being dies, his or her body doesnt decay, but instead is absorbed back into the universe as energy and light. Theofanidis incorporated a 900 year old chant written by the visionary, mystic, saint, composer, poet, naturalist, and physician Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), also known as the Sybil of the Rhine.
I first encountered Hildegard of Bingen in my music history class my freshman year while researching ancient music. I stumbled across this amazing, powerful medieval female figure who recounted visions and left an imprint in many fields. Some people believe that she suffered from extreme migraines, causing her extraordinary visions. In any case she was a prolific writer of music and scientific observations. My violin is actually named after her.
Theofanidis used Hildegards chant Ave maria O auxtrix vite (Hail mary, source of life) as the underlying theme. Theofanidis also added cheering to the end of the work after hearing the London Symphony cheer while performing it. As a tradition, if the London Symphony likes a new work they cheer while playing. The sonic concoction appealed to Theofanidis, hence he edited the cheering into the end of the piece for an interesting effect.
Last but not least Maestro Zimmermann conducted Tchaikovskys Symphony no. 4 in F Major. This is one of my favorite symphonies. Tchaikovsky weaves a never-ending seam of extraordinary beautiful melodies. Elements of Tchaikovskys tragic life seem to penetrate from the page. The last movement catapults one into a heart-racing frenzied Russian fest finale.
I would say that this was a wonderful program to end my UT Symphony career. I am looking forward to listening to UT Symphony performances next semester.
Renee’s Music Pick of the Day: It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Renee’s YouTube Clip of the Day: