RDSO presents Beethoven’s Eroica

The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presents their next main series concert on April 27

The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presents their next main series concert on April 27 at the Red Deer College Main Stage at 8 p.m. with Eroica.

Audiences will also be delighted by returning guest pianist Mayron Tsong performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1. Noted for its impressive scale, grandeur and technical difficulties, this work replaces the Prokofiev Piano Concerto which was originally programmed.

The program opens with a beautiful and thoughtful Andante by Canadian composer Milton Barnes, and closes with a performance of Beethoven’s popular Symphony No. 3 Eroica, notes Claude Lapalme, RDSO music director.

Full of both tragedy and humour, this work was originally planned as musical testimonial to Napoleon’s glory – however, after Napoleon crowned himself emperor, Beethoven, in a fit of rage, revised the manuscript to read “Heroic Symphony to celebrate the memory of a great man.”

As RDSO Music Director Claude Lapalme explains in his concert notes, the first performance of the symphony could hardly have been called a success. Audiences were stunned and “Beethoven, like Napoleon, had gone too far.”

Lapalme explains that Beethoven had shattered the remaining “shackles that had tied him to Austrian classicism in a spectacular way. The work is longer (50 minutes) and bigger (three horns) than anything previously written; it is also full of bold harmonies (especially in the middle of the first movement), stunning key changes, tragedy, humour and excruciating difficulties for the musicians.”

But in time, the work’s tremendous power and complexities would eventually win audiences over.

“It did not take long for the symphony to take hold, however; it opened the doors to the new century in decisive fashion and overtook the world of music as well as any successful Napoleonic campaign.”

Meanwhile, the RDSO’s annual raffle prize will also be drawn on April 27.

Tickets are only $10, and will be available in the lobby of the concert, or at the RDSO office by calling 403-340-2948.

Next up for the RDSO is The World of Williams, slated for June 5 on the Arts Centre mainstage. Performance time is 7:30 p.m. The evening is devoted to the works of composer John Williams, known for his scores for movies ranging from Schindler’s List to Jaws to Jurassic Park. As Lapalme points out, “No living composer has come close to receiving the level of recognition bestowed upon him. “Williams truly believes that much of the emotional undercurrent of a film is enhanced, even at times provoked, by music.

“His immense production, which includes concert pieces as well as film scores in all styles from adventure movies, comedies, dramatic pieces, historical films, science fiction and children’s fare, demonstrates a tireless devotion toward the goal of expressing what images alone cannot express.”

Tickets are available through the Black Knight Ticket Centre. Charge by phone: 403-755-6626 or visit www.bkticketcentre.ca.

– Weber