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Caleb Borick, Piano
Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus
–Dr. Robert Taylor, Director
Ken Lam, Conductor
THE SILKEN STAIRCASE: OVERTURE
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
PIANO CONCERTO NO. 3 IN C MINOR, OP. 37
DIE ERSTE WALPURGISNACHT, OP. 60 (THE FIRST WALPURGIS NIGHT)
Recognized as the leading opera composer of his time, the prolific Gioachino Rossini wrote The Silken Staircase at age 20. The comedic opera, though very popular in its day, is not performed as often as are his The Barber of Seville or William Tell. However, The Silken Staircase Overture stands the test of time as a masterpiece punctuated by lively banter between the strings and the upper woodwinds.
At its 1803 premiere, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto was not entirely complete, and the solo passages were played by the composer himself largely from memory. The concerto is often associated with Beethoven maneuvering away from his more Mozart-influenced earlier piano concertos to develop his own style. Indeed, it is a wonderful display of the dramatic musicality that we have come to know as quintessentially Beethoven.
In The First Walpurgis Night, Felix Mendelssohn reimagines a spooky yet comic tale with building momentum. With ghosts, witches, owls, pitchforks, and the devil this work is perfect for the Halloween holiday! Themes of conflict and oppression are woven throughout and intertwined by the music and the voices; in one moment it is serious and serene, and in the next, it is rowdy and rambunctious.