CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 22, 2016 — The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will perform music by Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner, two of the greatest composers of the 19th century, at 7:30 p.m. March 8 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
Bruckner’s “Romantic” Symphony, No. 4, will be presented, along with the celebrated “Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra” by Brahms. Brandon Christensen, violinist, and Valentina Takova, cellist, will be the featured soloists in the “Double Concerto;” Sara Edgerton will conduct the concert.
The concert will open with Bruckner’s expressive Symphony No. 4, the “Romantic” Symphony. This work is one of Bruckner’s most famous and frequently performed compositions. It has all the hallmarks of Bruckner’s style: glorious writing for winds and brass, majestic sounds of massed brass instruments, and contrasting moments of quiet and repose. Bruckner as a performer was most closely identified with the organ; he was a celebrated organist and master of improvisation on that instrument. The wonderful sonorities and richness of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 clearly show the influence of his organ background, Edgerton said.
The second half of the concert will feature Southeast’s violin professor, Brandon Christensen, with guest cellist Valentina Takova, as soloists in the “Double Concerto” by Brahms. The “Double Concerto” is the last major symphonic work written by Brahms, and it remains one of his most influential and performed compositions today. The opening movement presents beautiful themes and melodies interwoven amongst the soloists and the orchestra. The second movement is very peaceful and calm, and provides a contemplative contrast to the boisterous final movement.
“Both the Bruckner and the Brahms compositions are amazing masterpieces for the symphonic orchestra,” said Edgerton, artistic director and conductor of the Southeast Missouri Symphony. “The 19th century was a high point for orchestral music, and Brahms and Bruckner were definitely amongst the very greatest of composers from this period. Their music still speaks to us today, with all its color, variety and intense expression.
“I am very excited about presenting these pieces at the River Campus,” Edgerton added. “Both Brahms and Bruckner require a highly disciplined and skilled set of performers to do justice to their music. It is thrilling that we have such dedicated students in our program that allow us to prepare and present these Romantic masterpieces to the public.”
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampusEvents.com.