Handel and Haydn Society to Present Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, 3/15 & 17


After conducting H&H in sold-out performances of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in 2011, Richard Egarr returns to Symphony Hall to breathe life into another great work by the composer, his masterful Symphony No. 7. This continues a cycle of Beethoven Symphonies that Egarr brings to H&H, beginning in 2008 with Beethoven Symphony No. 8 and continuing with Beethoven Symphony No. 4 in 2014. Renowned as one of the finest period clarinetists in the world, H&H principal Eric Hoeprich brings Mozart's playful clarinet concerto to life. Egarr and Hoeprich will take your breath away with their virtuosic and powerful interpretations of these great compositions.

The evening will kick off with a special student performance by students from the Handel and Haydn Society Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program's Collaborative Youth Concerts. Associate Conductor John Finney will lead the H&H orchestra and the choruses from Brockton High School, Lawrence High School, and Boston Latin School in excerpts from Handel's Utrecht Te Deum. The Collaborate Youth Concert program was created 26 years ago, in 1987, and allows students from different school districts and cultural backgrounds come together to perform works from the Baroque and Classical eras for their communities alongside Handel and Haydn's professional musicians.

Completed in 1812, Symphony No. 7 was composed by Beethoven while he was staying in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice in the hope of improving his health. Conducted by Beethoven himself, the first performance was held in Vienna in 1813 at a charity concert for soldiers wounded in the Battle of Hanau. The symphony is noteworthy for its compositional details; the work includes the long coda of the first movement, extensive rhythmic detail, and the use of a fortissimo which was rarely used by Beethoven. At its debut, Beethoven was noted as remarking that it was one of his best works. The second movement, Allegretto, was the most popular movement and received an encore. The instant popularity of the Allegretto resulted in its frequent performance separate from the complete symphony.

Mozart's composed his clarinet concerto for his friend Anton Stadler during his last year of life (1791). The concerto was initially composed for basset horn but transposed later by Mozart's publisher to be performed on the more standard clarinet (which has a smaller range). Eric Hoeprich will be playing the basset clarinet for this performance, and thus performing the work as it was originally intended.The clarinet on which Hoeprich will perform the concerto is an instrument he built himself based on an engraving of Stadler's own basset clarinet found in a concert program from Stadler's 1794 performance of the concerto in Riga.

The program will be rounded out by Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music (Maurerische Trauermusik). A member of the Freemasons, Mozart composed the piece in 1785 to be performed at a Masonic service for two fellow Freemasons in November of that year. The instrumental version which will be featured at these concerts was adapted for a performance that December.

As part of ongoing community outreach efforts, H&H will be partnering with Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) for this concert. H&H initiated a partnership with MassArt in 2012 in connection with H&H's performances of Bach St. Matthew Passion. Through this partnership, H&H and MassArt explore the impact of multidisciplinary learning; demonstrate the ways in which a performing arts organization can engage a cross-section of its community, including students, educators, concertgoers, and the global internet community; and test the public's conceptions of the arts. Juniors in the Illustration department will be given the opportunity to hear the music of Beethoven Symphony No. 7 and react to it by creating visual art. The students will participate in a jury process and select artwork will be displayed at Symphony Hall during the concert weekend.

The performances will take place on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 8pm and Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 3pm at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Mass.


Beethoven Symphony No. 7

HANDEL: Utrecht Te Deum (excerpts)

John Finney, conductor
Collaborative Youth Choruses - Brockton High School, Lawrence High School, and Boston Latin School

MOZART: Masonic Funeral Music
MOZART: Clarinet Concerto
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

Richard Egarr, conductor
Eric Hoeprich, basset clarinet
Period Instrument Orchestra

Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased through the Handel and Haydn (H&H) Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at handelandhaydn.org, or in person at the Handel and Haydn Society office, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M-F, 10am-6pm). Single tickets range from $25 to $90. Student rush is available starting 90 minutes before the performance: $15 cash only with valid ID, best available seats subject to availability. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.

Pre-Concert Conversation
Friday, March 15, 2013 at 7pm
Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 2pm
Conversations will take place in Symphony Hall's Higginson Hall
Free with concert tickets
Musicologist Teresa Neff gives an illuminating look inside the music and historical context of the program.

Richard Egarr made his H&H debut in 2008, and most recently led H&H in performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in 2011. He has worked with all types of keyboards, performing repertoire ranging from 15th century organ music to Berg and Maxwell Davies on modern piano. Egarr enjoyed his musical training as a choirboy at York Minster, at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, and as organ scholar at Clare College Cambridge. His studies with Gustav and Marie Leonhardt further inspired his work in the field of historical performance.

As a conductor, Egarr has presented a wide range of repertoire, from Bach's St. Matthew Passion to John Taverner's Ikon of Light. He directs specialized ensembles and modern orchestras alike. He is Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, having succeeded its founder Christopher Hogwood in 2006. Egarr has directed many oratorios and operas, notably Messiah, Esther, Acis & Galatea, Alcina, L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Athalia and Alexander's Feast by Handel; Haydn's The Creation, Purcell's Fairy Queen and Dido & Aeneas, Telemann's St Matthew Passion and Mozart's Don Giovanni, Bach's B minor Mass and the St. Matthew Passion (with the Dutch Bach Society, and in a staged version at Glyndebourne). He has conducted 'modern' orchestras such as Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Residentie Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. This season he conducts the AAM on several tours across Europe and Asia. Egarr has given many solo performances throughout Europe, Japan and the USA (with Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and Goldberg Variations). He has appeared as orchestral soloist with the English Concert, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Orchestra of the 18th Century, the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra, and the Netherlands Wind Ensemble. Egarr has earned a great reputation as a chamber musician, also thanks to longstanding relationship with violinist Andrew Manze.