Richard Strauss: A Three Concert Celebration of his 150th Birthday

June 11th 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss (1864-1949), arguably the predominant German composer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In celebration of this landmark year, I have put together a concert and recording project that celebrates this remarkable composer.

Strauss’s extraordinarily long compositional career spanned nearly seven decades, from the early years of Bismarck’s unified Germany, through the fall of the German Monarchy, two World Wars, and the Third Reich. He rose to prominence quickly, gaining his first professional appointment as a conductor at age 21, and holding positions through his whole career at the most important Opera and Concert Houses in Germany and Austria, and maintaining close connections with all of the important political and cultural leaders of Germany.

Strauss’ music is performed frequently: masterworks like Also Sprach Zarathustra, Der Rosenkavalier, and Don Quixote are regular fixtures in most orchestral and operatic seasons. However, there are certain areas of his compositional output that are relatively unfamiliar. In particular, the brilliant chamber music, piano music, and songs he wrote as an adolescent and in his early twenties are quite unknown, and it is my belief that they should be more widely performed. The compositions that will be performed in this project show Strauss’s compositional evolution through a ten-year span, starting with the second Piano Trio, which he wrote at the age of 14 (1878), and ending with the Violin Sonata, which he wrote at the age of 24 (1888). The Violin Sonata was written immediately before his symphonic poem Don Juan, considered by many to be his first mature work.

Apart from being objects of interest in their relation to Strauss’ better known works, these early chamber, piano and vocal compositions are stunning works in their own rite, and the opportunity to present them at Festival Pontiac Enchanté this summer gives me great pleasure.

I hope you enjoy the concerts!

Carson Becke
Artistic Director

PROGRAM

Friday, July 18th - Gala Evening
Concert 7:00 pm (Cocktail reception from 6:00pm)
$100 (Cocktails/Concert & Dinner)
$35 (Cocktails and concert only)

Richard Strauss

Two Pieces for Piano Quartet:
Festmarsch
Liebesliedchen

Acht Gedichte aus Lezte blätter, op. 10

 

Cello Sonata in F major, op. 6

Nathaniel Anderson-Frank, Violin
Won-hee Lee, Viola
Ella Rundle, Cello
Wallis Giunta, Mezzo-Soprano
Carson Becke, Piano

Saturday, July 19th, 7:00pm
$25

Richard Strauss

Piano Trio no. 2 in D major, TRV 71

Piano Sonata in B minor, op. 5

  •• Intermission ••
 

Five Lieder, op. 15

Violin Sonata in E flat major, op. 18

Nathaniel Anderson-Frank, Violin (Sonata)
Tait Becke, Violin (Trio)
Ella Rundle, Cello
Wallis Giunta, Mezzo-Soprano
Carson Becke, Piano

Sunday, July 20th, 2:00 PM
$25

Catered lunch available outdoors either before or after the concert – reserve by contacting Lavender Ridge through our website.

Richard Strauss

Five Piano Pieces, op. 3

Six Lieder, op. 17

  •• Intermission ••
 

Piano Quartet in C minor, op. 13

Nathaniel Anderson-Frank, Violin
Ella Rundle, Cello
Won-hee Lee, Viola
Wallis Giunta, Mezzo-Soprano
Carson Becke, Piano