La Jolla, Calif. (May 14, 2014) — La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) presents its final program of a season celebrating David Chase’s 40th anniversary year as choral director. Music Director Steven Schick opens the concert conducting orchestra in Leos Janácek’s Zárlivost (“Jealousy”) and the classical proportions and high spirits of Haydn’s final symphony, his “London Symphony.” David Chase concludes his anniversary season leading orchestra, chorus, three vocal soloists, and virtuoso guitarist in a chorus favorite -- Cary Ratcliff’s Ode to Common Things.
Leos Janácek (1854–1928) found success as a composer late in life. The premiere of his first great opera, Jenufa, did not take place until 1904 when he was 50, but it set the stage for an unbelievable prolific final decade of his life during which he composed four operas, two string quartets, the Sinfonietta, the Glagolitic Mass, and many other works. Zárlivost (“Jealousy”) was originally written as an overture to Jenufa. However, Janácek omitted the overture in the opera’s premiere, feeling its power deflected attention from the opera itself. The “detached” overture received its own premiere as an orchestral work, and ultimately became a concert piece. Heard as either opera overture or concert work, Zárlivost is striking music, full of color, swirling energy, and a haunting lyricism
Symphony No. 104 in D Major is Franz Joseph Haydn’s (1732-1809) final symphony, after which he turned his attention to vocal music. From the moment of its premiere, the “London Symphony” has been an audience favorite. This is music full of energy and high spirits. Written when Haydn was at the height of his powers as a symphonist, it demonstrates the technical mastery, grand sonority, and breadth of scope that would represent the furthest development of the symphony until Beethoven took up the form five years later.
Cary Ratcliff (b. 1952) composed Ode to Common Things in 1995. The text is taken from poems written by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda about ordinary objects -- common things such as scissors, clocks, thimbles and beds. An analysis and celebration of everything we take for granted in our lives, Neruda’s poetry in this piece is perceptive, surprising, beautiful, wistful, and funny—and so too is Ratcliff’s music. The work calls for six-part chorus, orchestra, and three vocal soloists and guitar. The LJS&C performance will feature soprano Mónica Ábrego, mezzo-soprano Guadalupe Paz, and tenor John Russell, with virtuoso guitar passages performed by Pablo Gomez.
The performances take place June 7-8, 2014 in Mandeville Auditorium at UCSD. Concert times are 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Individual tickets are $29 general, $27 senior, and $15 student. Parking is free. A pre-concert lecture is offered one hour prior to concert times. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the LJS&C office at (858) 534-4637.
The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus is San Diego’s oldest and largest community orchestra and chorus. In six concert pairs each season performed on the UC San Diego campus, the ensemble combines classics from the traditional repertoire with a unique blend of premieres, commissions and performances of rarely-heard, often monumental works. Under the leadership of Music Director Steven Schick, LJS&C has been critically acclaimed as offering the most daring orchestral programs in the country. He is joined during the concert season by colleague David Chase who is beginning his 40th year as LJS&C Choral Director.