Below is the program from yesterday's Holland Symphony Orchestra concert. We performed two of Mozart's pieces and two of Beethoven's. Did you know that Mozart & Beethoven were said to have met in Vienna in 1787? That was 228 years ago! 1787 was the same year that the first piece, Overture to Don Giovanni, premiered in Vienna as part of the famous comic opera.
Although Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria and Beethoven in Bonn, Germany they both frequently traveled throughout Central Europe. All of the pieces are from the Classical Time Period (1775-1827). The Classical period of music can most be recognized for its bright contrast of color, a very clear division of parts, simplicity and its formality and hierarchy. During this time in Europe nobility became the primary audience of instrumental music and it was tightly linked to Court or Monarch culture.
Do you know what was happening in the United States of America in 1787 when Beethoven & Mozart were said to have met? We were in the midst of the Northwest Indian War, the colony of Pennsylvania was admitted as the second state following Delaware, and the U.S. Constitution was created in September of that year! On September 11, 1787 the 13 U.S. Colonies were polishing the preamble to the constitution and these words were penned and later revised to what is now the foundation upon which our country was built:
"We the people of the States of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, and Georgia, do ordain, declare and establish the following Constitution for the Government of Ourselves and our Posterity."
"WE, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Looking back on all of this history we remember September 11th, 2001 and all of the lives that were lost and the heroes who defended justice. "One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11. And here at this hallowed place, we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.” —President George W. Bush at the Pentagon in 2008
Music has the power to shape culture, to inspire culture, and to help us look back and remember those who have given us hope. Thank you for everyone who made it out to the concert! As I researched the history of some of this music I never imagined all that I would stumble upon. When you search you never know what you will find!
"The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future." -Theodore Roosevelt
All the best,
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