Greenwich Symphony features trumpet soloist

gl-GSO-concert-1-8On Jan. 24 and 25, Greenwich audiences will have the opportunity to hear Haydn’s Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, as performed by virtuoso trumpeter Ryan Anthony and the Greenwich Symphony.

Mr. Anthony has received international acclaim for his varied career as soloist, educator, and chamber music and orchestra player. He earned worldwide recognition as a member of the ensemble Canadian Brass, before departing in 2003 for a position with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where he is currently principal trumpet. The program will also include Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings” and Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 2 , The Four Temperaments.

Haydn wrote the trumpet concerto in 1796 for the virtuoso Anton Weidinger, trumpeter in the Vienna Court Orchestra. Weidinger had developed a special keyed trumpet capable of playing all the chromatic pitches, thus becoming a fully melodic instrument. Although it was later superseded by the modern valve trumpet, at the time Weidinger had become famous touring with his special trumpet. Initially, Weidinger delayed playing Haydn’s concerto, reportedly because it was so difficult that he needed to practice it for an extended period. Ultimately, he premiered the work in 1800. Musicologists consider this work to be Haydn’s finest concerto, for any instrument.

Also on the program Serenade for Strings by Tchaikovsky. As the composer started the piece, he thought it would be a symphony or a string quartet but as he continued it grew into the greatest of all works for string orchestra. This charming four-movement piece has become a favorite of audiences throughout the world. The first movement is an homage to Mozart. The second movement is a waltz, which by itself has become one of Tchaikovsky’s most popular pieces. The third movement is a profoundly expressive elegy, which in turn is totally transformed in the exuberant finale.

The program will conclude with the Symphony No. 2 of Carl Nielsen, subtitled The Four Temperaments. The work was inspired by a humorous painting that caught the composer’s eye while visiting a local pub with friends. It was a caricature, depicting the four temperaments — choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic and sanguine — which in medieval times were thought to make up the human personality. The composer decided these character studies provided an ideal foundation for a piece that would offer an intriguing variety in its four movements. The work was completed in 1902. The energetic rhythms, bright and colorful orchestration and expansive melodic ideas all combine to give the music power, sweep and universality in its message.

The concerts will take place on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 25 at 4 p.m. at the Dickerman Hollister Auditorium at Greenwich High School. A free, pre-concert lecture will be given one hour before each performance.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $10 for students. Order tickets online at Greenwichsymphony.org or call 203-869-2664.

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