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Beethoven Summer Festival
August 12, 2022 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm MDT
Join your Fort Collins Symphony for an All-Beethoven Summer Festival! This concert features three of Beethoven’s most famous works: the enchanting Piano Concerto No. 4, featuring pianist David Korevaar, the spirited Symphony No. 7, and the dramatic Coriolan Overture.
Friday, August 12th
2908 S. Timberline Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
$32 adult, $12 student/child
Available at LCTix.com
and at the door.
What’s interesting about this concert:
– World-renowned pianist David Korevaar will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, accompanied by the FCS. This piece is the 2nd most-performed piano concerto at Carnegie Hall.
– The second movement of the Piano Concerto No. 4 was likely inspired by the story of Orpheus and his journey to the Underworld. In it, the orchestra represents wild beasts, who are tamed by the tranquil nature of the piano.
– You may recognize Beethoven’s 7th Symphony more than you think! It has been used in many films and TV shows, including Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos,” the “Charlie Brown Easter special,” “Seinfeld,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “The Knowing,” and “The King’s Speech.”
– Beethoven wrote the Coriolan Overture for a play about a soldier who betrayed his country. The music strikes and slashes, imitating the violence of the battle.
On this concert:
Ludwig van Beethoven – Coriolan Overture
Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major
Featuring pianist David Korevaar
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 in A Major
Click or tap a title below to read a short introduction to Beethoven or each piece of music.
There are few composers as famous as Ludwig van Beethoven. And there are few composers that made as much impact on the history of music as Ludwig van Beethoven.
Beethoven’s childhood was famously brutal: his abusive, alcoholic father Johann forced him to practice day and night. He was deprived of sleep and beaten when he made a mistake. Beethoven’s father wanted to make his son into Europe’s greatest musician, just as Mozart’s father had done with him. At the age of 22, he finally escaped his father and moved to Vienna, partly to study with the composer Joseph Haydn.
In 1802, at age 32, Beethoven wrote a letter to his brothers. He was in despair about his increasing deafness. “what a humiliation for me,” he said “when someone standing next to me heard a flute in the distance and I heard nothing, or someone heard a shepherd singing and again I heard nothing. Such incidents drove me almost to despair, a little more of that and I would have ended my life.” But Beethoven decided not to end his life: “it seemed impossible to me to leave this world before I had produced all that I felt capable of producing,”
This letter, which he never sent, was only discovered after his death in 1827. It is called the “Heiligestadt Testament,” named after the city he wrote it in.
Through his tumultuous childhood, his encroaching deafness, and thoughts of suicide, Beethoven and his music always held on to hope. He went on to write some of the greatest music in history, including the three enchanting, dramatic, and powerful works on this concert.
In 1804, a playwright named Heinrich Joseph von Collin set out to retell the story of Coriolanus, a Roman General from the fifth century. The idea excited Beethoven, and he set out to write an overture to precede it. The play enjoyed lukewarm popularity, but it is now only remembered as the inspiration for Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture. In fact, according to Steven Ledbetter of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the play was never performed after its premiere in 1807.
In the story, the Roman soldier Coriolanus is exiled. He turns on his homeland and leads an enemy’s army on his own people. He only comes to his senses and ends the assault when he sees his mother in the crowd.
The opening chords are terrifying columns, representing Coriolanus betraying his homeland. A driving melody portrays Coriolan’s march forward, and slashes of pain can be heard throughout the piece. In two moments of repose, Coriolan sees his mother, represented by a lyrical melody in the violins. As the overture closes, Beethoven slows the music. It ends quietly, recalling the final moments before Coriolanus is executed for his betrayal.
Most classical composers were virtuosic performers before they began writing music. Beethoven was no different. As a pianist, he was virtually unmatched. According to one story, Beethoven so viciously defeated another pianist in a piano duel that the loser left Vienna out of embarrassment and never returned.
In 1805, around the same time he was writing the groundbreaking 5th symphony (ba-ba-ba-bum), Beethoven wrote himself a 4th piano concerto. It is one of his most subtle and evocative works, and now a staple of the piano repertoire.
The second movement in particular represents the power of music and evokes the story of Orpheus taming the demons of the underworld. In the story, Orpheus must save his wife by traveling to the underworld. Once there, he is surrounded and attacked by terrifying demons! Orpheus saves himself by playing his magical harp, calming the vicious beasts.
In the music, the strings of the orchestra represent the furies surrounding Orpheus. Their music is loud and aggressive. The piano represents Orpheus. His music is tranquil and calm. Eventually, Orpheus soothes the beasts.
The concerto then ends in a flurry, with an animated and exciting finale. One can imagine a young Beethoven writing himself the most difficult music he could come up with to show off to the wealthy spectators at his concerts.
While melodies from Beethoven’s 5th and 9th symphonies are more widely recognized, audiences may still recognize parts of the 7th symphony, even if today is the first time they will hear it in its entirety. The second movement especially is used to underscore moments of great significance or sadness in films. You may recognize it from climactic scenes in “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “The Knowing,” and “The King’s Speech.” At the premiere of the symphony, the audience demanded that the second movement be played again.
Though the second movement is solemn and Beethoven faced great personal problems during his time writing the 7th symphony (encroaching deafness, lost love, loneliness, and money troubles), it is ultimately a positive and uplifting symphony. The music is exuberant, buoyant, and almost all based on dances.
As Stéphane Denève, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony, describes it: “If Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony unites people with the idea of brotherhood, his Seventh Symphony unites people with the idea of dance. We dance, we connect, we share a space. The feeling is of going to a rock concert together—being close to each other, sharing energy.”
Guest Artist: Pianist David Korevaar
Hailed for his “wonderfully warm, pliant, spontaneous playing” by the Washington Post, award winning pianist David Korevaar is in demand as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborator. Korevaar has performed and given master classes throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. Recent highlights include recitals and master classes in Taipei, and a tour of Brazil. He has also concertized and given master classes in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan as part of the U.S. State Department’s Cultural Envoy program and taught at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul.
Korevaar’s recent career highlights include solo performances with the Rochester Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Japan’s Shonan Chamber Orchestra and Brazil’s Goiania Symphony. A passionate and committed collaborator, he has appeared on some of the country’s most distinguished chamber music series. He is a founding member of the Boulder Piano Quartet, currently in residence at The Academy in Boulder, for which he curates a chamber music series, and performs regularly with the Takács Quartet, with whom he appeared on the Great Performers Series at New York’s Lincoln Center. He has collaborated with world renown soloists and ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, the Shanghai, Manhattan and Colorado Quartets, and violinists Charles Wetherbee, Anne Akiko Myers, Vadim Gluzman and Chee-Yun.
Korevaar’s discography of over 50 titles includes the world premiere recording of piano music by the largely forgotten Italian impressionist composer Luigi Perrachio and two recordings with Charles Wetherbee, including works by Iranian-American composer Reza Vali which received Iran’s Bârbad Award, and a Naxos disc of the three violin sonatas by Paul Juon. Current recordings include Richard Danielpour’s The Celestial Circus for two pianos and three percussionists with pianist Angelina Gadeliya. Other recent releases include the third volume of Lowell Liebermann’s piano music, a compelling Chopin recital, and world premiere recordings of music for violin and piano by Tibor Harsányi with Charles Wetherbee. Korevaar is well-known for his Bach recordings, including the Six Partitas, Goldberg Variations, and the Well-Tempered Clavier, recognized as a Critic’s Choice by American Record Guide.
Dedicated to championing the works of contemporary composers, he has performed and recorded works by John Cage, Lera Auerbach, David Carlson, Robert Xavier Rodriguez, Paul Schonfield, Aaron Jay Kernis, George Rochberg, George Crumb, Stephen Jaffe, and performed the New York premiere of Harrison’s Clocks by Harrison Birtwistle.
Korevaar is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, only the second to bear that title in the College of Music, and holds the Peter and Helen Weil fellowship in piano. He was also honored by the University in 2016 as a Distinguished Research Lecturer, a first in the College of Music.
He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School by age 20, where he also completed his Doctor of Musical Arts as a student of Earl Wild and Abbey Simon. A very important mentor and teacher was French pianist Paul Doguereau.
For more information visit DavidKorevaar.com
Interview with David Korevaar:
Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in Movies and TV:
How many movies and TV shows feature Beethoven’s 7th Symphony?
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Mr. Robot (2015)
The King’s Speech (2010)
Love Exposure (2008)
The Man from Earth (2007)
The Fall (2006)
Photographing Fairies (1997)
Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)
Immortal Beloved (1994)
Parade of the Planets (1984)
The Black Cat (1934)
Answer: A lot!
And these are only the ones that use the 2nd movement of the symphony, the Allegretto.
Other parts of the symphony have been used in Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos,” Wes Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited,” “Seinfeld,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “The Charlie Brown Easter Special.”
Click here to read our full post on Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in Movies and TV.
Dr. David and Alison Dennis
Dr. Ed Siegel
Dr. Peter Springberg and Janet Kowall
Nancy and Denis Symes
Prairie Development Corporation
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