Fridays, October 29 & November 5, 7:30 PM
Sunset Center Theater

Orchestra conducted by Paul Goodwin

Gioachino Rossini, Overture to Il Signor Bruschino
Richard Wagner, Siegfried Idyll
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21


Friday night’s all-orchestral program presents three gems from Romantic-era composers.

“This spectacular and varied concert will have you toe tapping to Rossini, swooning to Wagner and being invigorated by Beethoven,” said conductor Paul Goodwin.

The lighthearted Il Signor Bruschino has one of Rossini’s most playful and interesting overtures. The spirited and jovial piece is perhaps best-known for instructing the strings players to tap their bows on their music stands in rhythm in a repeating phrase.

Richard Wagner is best known for the enormous scale of his operas. But with Siegfried Idyll, the composer demonstrates a more gentle and tender nature. The work is a symphonic poem for chamber orchestra composed as a birthday gift for his wife, and premiered in their home overlooking Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. On the morning that they were to celebrate her birthday, from the stairway leading to the upstairs bedroom, a chamber orchestra lead by Wagner played Siegfried Idyll to wake her. The piece derived its name from the composer’s musical sources—his opera Siegfried, from which he borrowed the horn motif and the Forest Bird melody.

The work is an incredibly beautiful birthday gift, and the music is ironically intimate and restrained for a composer not known for this sensibility. It is Wagner’s most personal composition.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 launched the symphonic career of music’s greatest composer in that genre. But it is appropriate for a piece composed at the intersection of the 18th and 19th Centuries that Beethoven pay homage to the Viennese tradition. You might hear echoes of Mozart and Haydn in this symphony, and Beethoven’s charm and flair for the dramatic are readily apparent. This is especially true in the third movement, which Beethoven called a minuet but is really the first of his theatrical scherzos, and in the finale, with its short, humorous slow introduction, followed by a playful and spirited romp.

It is not yet the heroic or the revolutionary Beethoven, but you can hear what is to come.