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Appalachian Chamber Orchestra performs Nov. 2

BOONE— James Allen Anderson directs the Appalachian Chamber Orchestra in a Nov. 2 performance at Appalachian State University.

The program begins at 2 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free.

The orchestra will perform Felix Mendelsohn’s “Overture to Ruy Blas, Op. 95,” Richard Wagner’s “Sigfried Idyll” and Robert Schumann’s “Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120.”

Mendelsohn’s overture was written in 1839 to benefit the Leipzig Theater Pension fund. However, the piece wasn’t published until after Mendelsohn’s death. Written in just three days, the overture features a furious opening theme and an animated theme in the string section, suggestive of the Spanish characters found in Victor Hugo’s play about Spanish nobility, for which the overture was written.

“Sigfried Idyll” is a 20-minute long composition written for chamber orchestra. It was a birthday present written for Wagner’s wife, and was performed by a 15-piece orchestra in the Wagner’s house on Christmas morning, following the birth of their second son.

Cosmia Wagner wrote about the performance: “When I woke up I heard a sound, it grew even louder, I could no longer imagine myself in a dream, music was sounding, and what music! After it had died away, R. came in to me with the five children and put into my hands the score of his ‘Symphonic Birthday Greeting.’ I was in tears, but so, too, was the whole household.”

Originally written in 1841, Schumann revised his composition for orchestra in 1851. Previously, Schumann had only written small-scale works and compositions for solo piano. He was encouraged by his wife, Clara, and his contemporary Franz List, to write a symphony. He presented the completed manuscript to his wife on her birthday.

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