On May 4 at 3 p.m. in Marwick-Boyd Auditorium, Clarion University Symphony Orchestra will present “Old and New Textures,” a concert that will embody composers’ use of varying orchestral textures of sound. It will also be the farewell concert for Dr. Paula Amrod, Clarion University professor of music, who will retire this spring after 33 years of service to the university.
“Although we celebrate Paula’s retirement, the music department loses a colleague who is incredibly passionate and forthright about students’ experience, growth and success,” said Dr. Casey C. Teske, director of the university orchestra. “It is the orchestra's highest honor that she agreed to be a guest artist for her final performance. She will be greatly missed."
The first movement of Chopin’s “Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, op. 21” will feature Amrod on piano.
“Paula has not only been an inspirational colleague, but a good friend and music collaborator,” said Dr. P. Brent Register, professor of music at Clarion. “We’ve performed literally hundreds of recitals together, both nationally and internationally. Although she will be retiring from Clarion, she will not be retiring as a musician. I anticipate many future off-campus recitals and concerts with Paula."
Chopin, regarded as a piano virtuoso, composed this concerto in 1830. Phillip Huscher of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra writes, "His two concertos were composed, unapologetically, as showcases for a traveling virtuoso."
The concert will open with “Promenade” from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”
“Mussorgsky had considerable girth, causing an uneven gait,” said Teske. “The promenade takes him into the gallery where he walks around the room, reflecting a change in mood and texture from one picture to another.”
In addition, the orchestra will perform:
- Two movements by Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suite.” The first will be “Prelude,” which signals a wedding preparation where Grieg uses various tempos and textures to create emotional shifts of mood. The second will be “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Grieg’s famous and arguably most popular piece that depicts the dances of gnomes and their chase of Peer Gynt;
- "The Machine Awakes” by Steven Bryant. Bryant was commissioned by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and uses electronics to simulate the sound of a machine waking for the first time. Bryant states in the preface to the score, “The opening swirling textures ultimately awake to this new machine with great self-determination”;
- "Hoe-Down" from Copland’s "Rodeo," which incorporates a well-known violin tune and mostly utilizes the full texture of the orchestra. This is the final dance in the ballet and incorporates "Bonaparte's Retreat" and "McCloud's Reel."
The final piece of the concert will be “Farewell,” the fourth movement from Haydn’s “Symphony No. 45.”
The concert is free and open to the public.
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