Utah Symphony Concludes Mendelssohn Symphony Cycle

Utah Symphony Concludes Mendelssohn Symphony Cycle

The Utah Symphony and Music Director Thierry Fischer will conclude a season-long performance cycle of Felix Mendelssohn's five symphonies with a concert featuring the first and last symphonies by the composer.

Along with Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 1 and Symphony No. 5 "Reformation," the orchestra will feature Utah Symphony Principal Bass David Yavornitzky soloing on "Double Bass Concerto" by Hans Werner Henze, February 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall.

Like many of the world's most famous composers, Mendelssohn is considered by many to have been a child prodigy. His first symphony was completed at age 15, following prior completion of dozens of smaller symphonic works. He first presented Symphony No. 1 to his teacher and mentor, Carl Zelter, who was impressed by the young apprentice's growth and promise.

Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 1 displays musical elements from composers like Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. These influences are reflected in the style, structure and counterpoint of the piece, and provide a foundation for which Mendelssohn later developed his own artistic voice.

While composing his Symphony No. 5 "Reformation," Mendelssohn had the 300th anniversary of the Lutheran Augsburg Confession in mind. He worked through an illness to finish it before the commemoration. To his dismay, the commemoration never occurred due to political unrest in Europe, but the piece was still set to premiere in Berlin a few years later. Unfortunately, Mendelssohn this time withdrew the piece as he felt it wasn't good enough, and the symphony wasn't published until after his death. The final movement features the well-known hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is our God."

The performance of modern composer Hans Werner Henze's "Double Bass Concerto" will be a Utah Symphony premiere. Henze was a German composer who moved and composed in Italy after political disruption. His works are varied and display influences of neo-classicism, serialism, atonalism, and some jazz and rock.

Fischer and Toby Tolokan, Utah Symphony Vice President of Artistic Planning, will present a free pre-concert chat each night, one hour prior to the start of the performance on the orchestra level of Abravanel Hall.

Single tickets for the performances range from $18 to $53 and can be purchased by calling (801) 355 ARTS (2787), in person at the Abravanel hall ticket office (123 W. South Temple) or by visiting www.utahsymphony.org. Season ticket holders and those desiring group discounts should call (801) 533- NOTE (6683). All ticket prices are subject to change and availability. Ticket prices will increase $5 when purchased on the day of the performance.

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