Magnificent Mozart – Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”
March 2 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm MST
Celebrate 100 years of exceptional music in Fort Collins with Mozart’s masterpiece, the magnificent Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter.”
Saturday, March 2, 2024
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Pre-Concert Lecture at 6:30
Lincoln Center Main Stage
417 W. Magnolia St.
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(or via livestream)
$28-73 adult, $11.50 student/child
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Experience the divine spark of genius that shines brightly and beautifully in this 18th-century pinnacle composition: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter.” This masterpiece was Mozart’s final symphony and is filled with genius, expression, and creativity.
The concert also features Arturo Márquez’s animated Dánzon No. 4, Erik Satie’s peaceful Gymnopédies Nos. 1 and 3, orchestrated by Claude Debussy, and Carlos Surinach’s fiery flamenco for orchestra: Ritmo Jondo.
Don’t miss this chance to bask in Mozart’s magnificence with your Fort Collins Symphony.
On this concert:
Ritmo Jondo, by Carlos Surinach
Dánzon No. 4, by Arturo Márquez
Gymnopédies Nos. 1 and 3, by Erik Satie, arr. Claude Debussy
Intermission: 20 min
Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter,” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Free week-of-concert events:
Join CSU professor Dr. K. Dawn Grapes on the Wednesday prior to most Signature concerts for an entertaining and informative lecture about the upcoming featured composers. Light refreshments. Sponsored by the Friends of the Symphony.
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
12:00 – 1:00 PM, at the Old Town Library
Learn firsthand what it takes for an orchestra to bring live music to the stage. Houselights remain on during this comfortable preview of each upcoming Signature concert. The rehearsal closes to the public at 8:30 p.m. intermission.
Thursday, February 29, 2024
7:00 – 8:30 PM, at the Lincoln Center
Prior to each Signature concert, join Maestro Wes Kenney for a pre-concert talk about the music you will hear.
Saturday, March 2, 2024
6:30 – 7:00 PM, at the Lincoln Center
Included with ticket purchase
FCS Sponsors and Advertisers:
The Friends of the Symphony
Arts Without End Foundation
Dr. David and Alison Dennis
Dr. Ed Siegel
Dr. Peter Springberg
Season 23-24 “Then & Now” is dedicated in loving memory of John Roberts.
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Program Notes by Dr. K. Dawn Grapes
Danzón No. 4
Date of Composition: 1996
Duration: 11 minutes
Music was a way of life for the family of Mexican composer Arturo Márquez (b. 1950). His grandfather was a folk musician and his father a dance-hall performer in a mariachi band. Thus, Márquez grew up listening to popular Mexican songs and dances, which later influenced many of his own compositions. Among these is a set of eight Danzónes, written between the years of 1994 and 2004 for a variety of instrumental combinations.
Danzón No. 4, like the others, finds its flavor in the clave rhythms of the Mexican danzón, a style based on the original Cuban dance that evolved within Cuban-Mexican communities in Veracruz. The work’s sensual woodwind lines mingle with a rich string foundation, while alternating 4/8 and 5/8 meters keep listeners off balance just enough to move audience members to the edge of their seats—if they are not already dancing in the aisles!
Erik Satie, arr. Claude Debussy
Gymnopédie No. 3
Date of Composition: 1888/1897
Duration: 3½ minutes
Erik Satie (1866–1925) was an outlier, both musically and socially. As a piano student, he left the Paris Conservatory twice without completion because he could not adapt to the inflexible expectations of his examiners. As a composer, he experimented with new sounds that challenged those of the old French guard. And although he was quite prolific, few of his compositions have found their way into a “standard” repertoire. After leaving school, Satie settled in the Montmartre section of Paris, where he lived a bohemian lifestyle as a cabaret pianist and literary magazine contributor. His personal eccentricities were legendary. For instance, he purchased the same three-piece gray suit by the dozen, rotating them when they wore out, and when it was raining, he refused to use the umbrella he always carried—because it might get wet.
Satie composed his set of three Gymnopédies very early in his career, drawing inspiration from a dance undertaken by unclothed young boys during an ancient Sparta festival. Despite the unconventional nature of the subject matter, these short piano pieces have become his most famous compositions. They demonstrate the composer’s ability to support a very simple melody with a harmonic texture so transparent that the music sounds remarkably easy, even when it is not. Fellow French composer Claude Debussy (1862–1918) heard Satie perform the waltz-like pieces in 1895 and set about orchestrating the first and third, reversing their order in the process. The resulting Gymnopédie No. 3, labelled “Slow and dolorous,”is the best known of Satie’s original movements.
Ritmo Jondo (Flamenco), Ballet for Chamber Orchestra
Date of Composition: 1953
Duration: 20 minutes
Like Márquez and Satie, Spanish-born composer Carlos Surinach (1915–1997) embraced dance as an inspiration for his music. More significantly, it was the dance world to which Surinach ultimately owed his career. After engaging in compositional studies in Barcelona throughout the Spanish Civil War and in Berlin during World War II, Surinach returned to Spain where he took up a conducting career. Artistic opportunities, however, were limited in his homeland, so when border regulations eased in 1947, he knew he could not stay. After a few years conducting in Paris, he travelled to the United States on a 29-day visa. Once in New York, he found work writing music for television commercials, which allowed him to remain. He eventually became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1959.
Surinach’s compositional introduction to the New York art scene took place in 1952. His composition Ritmo Jondo, a chamber work for two percussionists, clarinet, trumpet, and three hand-clappers, was included in a concert at the Museum of Modern Art alongside the works of esteemed American composers Virgil Thompson, Henry Cowell, Elliott Carter, and others. As evidenced in contemporary newspaper reviews, the mostly unknown Spaniard’s work outshined the rest with its three movements, each reflecting a style of flamenco dance. Auspicious members of the audience that day included composers Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber, as well as dance icons Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and José Limón. Afterward, Limón and his company director Doris Humphries approached Surinach and asked him to adapt the six-minute work into a longer ballet to be produced at Broadway’s Alvin Theatre. Surinach expanded his three movements to seven sections, each depicting a flamenco dance of the composer’s homeland. The ballet, with its combination of energetic music, exquisite dance, and brilliant costumes, was successful from its first performance, opening doors for an ongoing career as a modern dance composer for its musical creator. Over the next thirty years, Surinach received numerous commissions in which he collaborated with artists such as Limón, Graham, and Robert Joffrey, finding a new home for himself and his Spanish style.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551, “Jupiter”
Date of Composition: 1788
Duration: 33 minutes
When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) left the employ of the Archbishop of Salzburg in 1781, he risked losing the security of a court position in exchange for the freedom to pursue his own artistic agenda. Initially his decision seemed sound, as his first years in Vienna were relatively profitable: his operas were successful, commissions flowed in, and he found regular opportunities to perform his piano concertos for the Viennese elite. He also befriended Joseph Haydn, became a Freemason, married Constanze Weber, and started a family. The Mozarts lived lavishly and saved little. In late 1787, Amadeus was granted a part-time position in the court of Joseph II. However, by 1788 Austria was at war with the Ottoman Empire and funds for arts patronage were scarce. For Mozart, a lack of resources was compounded by his own financial mismanagement. After he could not pay rent on the centrally located apartment he and his family occupied, they moved to a new abode, smaller and farther removed from the city center. He was also forced to beg for and borrow income from his friends. Soon afterward, his baby daughter died. Despite these struggles, the summer of 1788 was quite fruitful musically.
In less than two months, Mozart finished two piano trios, a piano and a violin sonata, as well as his Symphonies No. 39, 40, and 41. These last three works show the composer at the height of his maturity, each uniquely masterful. Mozart may have written his final symphonies anticipating performance in the upcoming season, but no evidence remains to suggest they were ever performed during his lifetime. The last, Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551, stands as the pinnacle of Mozart’s orchestral output. The nickname “Jupiter”—evoking the grandeur and vastness of the Roman sky god—is most often attributed to Johann Peter Salomon, the same gentleman who commissioned Haydn’s London Symphonies. While the composition adheres to the expected fast-slow-minuet and trio-fast, four-movement classical symphonic structure, its brilliance, emotional content, and complexity surpasses all that Mozart had accomplished previously in his instrumental writing. At just over thirty minutes, the work is Mozart’s longest symphony. Each movement develops its musical material completely. The finale, however, reveals the composer’s true brilliance.
Until this time, a symphony’s first movement stood as the most notable by convention. In the case of Symphony No. 41, Mozart saved his best efforts for last, and in doing so, set a new standard. His last movement still adhered to a sonata-allegro form, but he expanded the number of themes in carefully considered insertions throughout, some of which receive a quasi-fugal treatment. Then, just when listeners believe the final movement is complete, Mozart overlays all five themes in invertible counterpoint in a coda, a perfect conclusion to one of the most celebrated symphonies in the entirety of the Classical orchestral repertoire.
© Dr. K. Dawn Grapes, 2023