UGA symphony Orchestra performs materworks by Mozart and Tchaikovsky

UGA Symphony Orchestra performs masterworks by Mozart and Tchaikovsky

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra, part of the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, will present a concert of Mozart and Tchaikovsky on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall.

The program, directed by conductor Mark Cedel, will feature Mozart’s Sinfonie Concertante for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and Orchestra as well as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. This concert is free and open to the public.

Mozart’s Sinfonie Concertante, featuring Hodgson faculty soloists Dwight Manning, oboe, D. Ray McClellan, clarinet, Jean Martin-Williams, horn, and William Davis, bassoon, highlights the virtuosic qualities of the solo wind instruments, individually as well as in combination. Originally commissioned in 1778 for solo flute, oboe, horn and bassoon, the work was set to be premiered at the Concert Spirituel in the Loge Olympic, Paris’s acclaimed orchestral series.

The work was given to Loge’s copyist, set aside and subsequently lost. Nevertheless, no original manuscript has survived. Nearly a century later, the composition resurfaced, not in Mozart’s handwriting and with solo clarinet rather than solo flute. Accepted as authentic with the solo sections considered adapted, the work has a beautiful and reflective quality.

In the spring of 1888, Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother about a seemingly insurmountable dry spell. “Have I written myself out?” he lamented. “No ideas, no inclination?” Even months later, once he had spent his summer vacation at work on a new symphony, he remained unsatisfied, proclaiming to his patron, Madame Nadezhda von Meck, “There is something repellent about it…. This symphony will never please the public.”

That “repellent” work, his Fifth Symphony, is today one of his most-performed compositions, delivering an epic expression of musical energy and anxiety. This was, for Tchaikovsky, his second consecutive symphony to be based on a central, programmatic theme. As the symphony progresses, the theme returns in various guises, sometimes wistful, at other times imposing, but the general motion is toward an increasing mood of optimism, until, in the finale, Tchaikovsky transforms his theme into a triumphal march.

“This symphony is a perfect blend of academia and emotion,” says Thomas Dickey, assistant conductor and graduate student at the Hodgson School of Music. “It is truly a tour de force of the orchestral repertoire.”