The Marin Symphony, led by Music Director Alasdair Neale, play a Dvorak symphony that he believes to be a greater work than either the eighth or the ‘New World’ ninth. They’ll contrast it with a sunny Mozart piano concerto, and a piece that composer Kevin Puts wrote to evoke the Rocky Mountains. Their second Masterworks concerts are this Sunday at 3, and next Tuesday at 7:30.
There’s more information at the Marin Symphony website.
Neale says that the Dvorak Seventh is unfairly in the shadow of his other works. “This is a piece that I would definitely put into the category of under-performed, by comparison for sure to the Eighth, and above all, the “New World” Symphony. Don’t get me wrong, those are great and lovely pieces, but for me, by actually a considerable margin, the Seventh Symphony is Dvorak’s greatest.” He says the drama lasts right through to the very end. “It is just so rich in every bar. There’s not a wasted measure, and Dvorak really takes us on a very intense journey… Of course there are beautiful Dvorak melodies that we all come to expect, but there’s also a great deal of intellectual heft to the piece. It’s quite turbulent in many ways, and it feels at the very end that it’s heading towards a tragic conclusion – and just at the very end he wrests victory from the jaws of defeat. So the overall effect is stormy, dramatic, passionate, and intensely beautiful.” The program begins with Kevin Puts’s Two Mountain Scenes, which will give the feeling of altitude. “It was originally written for the New York Philharmonic at Vail, and I have done it with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. So it will be interesting to do this piece at sea level, because it really does describe in a wonderfully picturesque and poetic way, a couple of scenes in the Rocky Mountains. It does convey some of the awesome power of nature, and the majesty of mountains.” And in between, just in time for his birthday, there’s music by Mozart, with soloist David Fung playing the A Major Piano Concerto no. 23.