Winter music

love-opera-victoria-bakerThis weekend the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra will present an interesting and varied program of Schumann, Mozart, Gilbert and Ginastera.

The orchestra’s first concerts of 2014 will occur on January 25 and 26  at 8 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively. The concert will feature two soloists, both very accomplished. For more information regarding this exciting Winter Concert please log onto www.greenwichsym.org

Susan Rotholz, principal flutist of the Greenwich Symphony since 1999 and a soloist at these concerts, made her New York debut to critical acclaim in 1981 as a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Award. Principal flutist of the New York Chamber Ensemble and of the New England Bach Festival, she is a member of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York Pops and The Little Orchestra Society, and has also served as principal flutist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony, American Ballet Theater and the Stamford Symphony.

Victoria Drake, the other soloist for this January concert has been a concerto soloist with more than a dozen orchestras. She appears often as solo recitalist and as chamber musician and achieved finalist status at the 10th International Harp Contest in Israel.

We all know that these symphony concerts are filled with beautiful music, but where do the composers get the inspiration for these sublime sounds? Well, in the case of Schumann (who will be featured on the program this January) his life afforded him many opportunities for inspiration. Notorious is the story of how he met and married the great love of his life, Clara Schumann.

Clara was the daughter of Schumann’s music teacher, Friedrich Wieck. Schumann fell in love with her even though he was already engaged to Ernestine von Fricken, the adopted daughter of a wealthy Bohemian. Clara herself was a virtuoso pianist and her father was bitterly opposed to the match. Persistent to marry her, Robert went to court to seek legal consent. His love eventually won out and the couple married.

They kept a “marriage diary” in which they recorded all their hopes and dreams. Each was to alternate and write an entry in the diary every week. Clara and Robert wrote observations about current politics, aspects of their daily life and, above all, commentary on the world of music.

With the inclusion of all these aspects, the diary presents a fairy well-rounded history of their marriage. In the early weeks of their marriage, Robert and Clara struggled with jealousy and anxiety. Clara remarks about other women and the attention Robert gives them. Robert also expresses jealousy of Clara and the attention she receives. For the Schumann’s, love and music were closely intertwined. They squeezed the inspiration out of every moment of their lives, much to our delight as musical audiences.

 

Victoria Baker, of Greenwich, is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 203-531-7499 or e-mail [email protected]

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