The Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society
P.O. Box 6682, Kamuela, HI 96743

Kaori Mitani, 808-896-2153 kaorim@aloha.net


Kamuela Philharmonic Concert
Saturday, March 30 2008 at 4:00 p.m.
Kahilu Theatre – Admission Free

Two mainstays of the orchestral repertoire will be featured on the Kamuela Philharmonic’s Spring Concert on Sunday, March 30, 2008 in the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea at 4pm. Admission is free and early arrival, 30 minutes or more, is encouraged in order to obtain seating. The orchestra, under the baton of music director Madeline Schatz, will perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony #4 and Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony. The Violin Concerto #1 by Max Bruch that was originally scheduled for this concert has been postponed for a future date.

For Tchaikovsky, the year 1877 was one of great turmoil. A former student of the composer’s had become deeply infatuated with him, and swore that, if he did not marry her, she would take her life. Concerned for the girl’s well-being, Tchaikovsky, though homosexual, agreed to the marriage. They married in the summer and his nervous breakdown came in the fall, at which point his doctors recommended that he never see the young woman again. He immediately moved to Switzerland where he began work on the Symphony #4. “Never yet has any of my orchestral works cost me so much labor, but I’ve never yet felt such love for any of my things … Perhaps I’m mistaken, but it seems to me that this Symphony is better than anything I’ve done so far.” He completed the new symphony on Christmas Day in 1877. It was dedicated “to my best friend,” Madame von Meck, his generous patron. He wrote a letter to her explaining what he viewed as the program for his Fourth Symphony. According to the composer himself, the ominous opening theme for horns and bassoons represents fate hanging over one’s head like a sword. This all-consuming gloom devours the few, brief glimpses of happiness, appearing mostly in the form of waltz themes. The second movement, Tchaikovsky asserted, expresses the melancholy felt at the end of a weary day. Then, in the third movement, he imagined what he called “fleeting images that pass through the imagination when one has begun to drink a little wine.” The fourth movement holds Tchaikovsky’s prescription for happiness. Here’s how he described it: “If you cannot find reasons for happiness in yourself, look at others. Get out among the people … Oh, how gay they are! … Life is bearable after all.” And so, to summarize Tchaikovsky’s view, this is a symphony that brings us from gloom to melancholy to slow recovery to life-affirming energy.

Schubert composed the work that has since become known as his “Unfinished” Symphony when he was 25. This was virtually the last that was heard of the symphony until long after Schubert’s death. It was tracked down in 1865 and given its premier performance. The “Unfinished” has since become Schubert’s most popular symphony, and one of the most familiar and beloved works in the symphonic repertoire. There is the incorrect notion that the composition of the symphony was cut short by Schubert’s death, but Schubert lived years beyond its composition. Stories abound regarding why the composition consists of only two, rather than the usual four, movements. All are interesting, but none are proven.

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