NJ Symphony Performs Beethoven 7 & 8, Andre Previn Premiere and More, Now thru 1/12

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Jacques Lacombe present Beethoven's Seventh and Eighth Symphonies on a program that features the U.S. premiere of André Previn's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra with Daniel Müller-Schott, the cellist for whom the concerto was written. NJSO Associate Concertmaster Brennan Sweet and Principal Oboe Robert Ingliss perform Edward T. Cone's Cadenzas for Oboe and Violin as part of the New Jersey Roots Project.

Performances take place tonight, January 9, (7:30 pm) at bergenPAC in Englewood; Saturday, January 11, (8 pm) at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank and Sunday, January 12, (3 pm) at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. Classical Conversations about the music on the program begin one hour before each performance.

Lacombe says: "Beethoven's Seventh premiered in December 1813, and the Eighth in February 1814; the Seventh was also played on the program premiering the Eighth. On the symphonies' collective 200th anniversary, it is fascinating to put these two great, contrasting works next to each other to hear how versatile Beethoven was.

"The Seventh is really one of his most important symphonies, with its rhythmical and dance-like aspects. The first movement has an ongoing tarantella rhythm, and the second movement a sort of slow march that has an almost hymn-like quality-there is a real depth to it. The Eighth is one of, if not the, best examples of the humor Beethoven showed in his music; it's very close to Haydn's world in its capacity to renew itself constantly and keep the listener on The Edge-because there is always surprise, always wit."

Previn's Cello Concerto fits well with the Beethoven symphonies, the music director says. "There is a lightness to the concerto that makes it feel very natural. It has joyful moments in terms of melodic and rhythms; I find similar aspects in Beethoven's symphonies, especially the Eighth. Daniel Müller-Schott is a cellist with an international career and a modern approach; he is capable of being flexible with many different styles of compositions, and I have wanted to work with him for a long time."

More On: André Previn, Robert Ingliss, Count Basie, The Edge,

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by Peter Danish