The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra to perform RENEGADES next month
On Saturday November 6, at 7:30 pm, the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra presents “Renegades”, an evening featuring works by Bologna, Stravinsky and Mozart. Each of these exceptional composers ignored their critiques and set about composing works that continue to be performed today.
Very few composers have the recognition of the name that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart does. Prodigy barely defines his genius, and prolific doesn’t even begin to describe the vast amount of music he has created. During his short life (he died aged 35), Mozart wrote 21 works for stage and opera, 15 masses, over 50 symphonies, 25 piano concertos, 12 violin concertos, 27 concert arias , 17 piano sonatas and 26 string quartets.
At only 18, he composed his 29th symphony, considered one of his most enjoyable, charming and light symphonies. With its 25th symphony, this piece “introduced” Mozart, the composer, to the world. It just illustrated how different his music was from anyone who came before him.
There is no record of the premiere of Mozart’s Symphony No.29, yet historians know it was one of his favorites. Mozart was known to take the manuscript with him wherever he went throughout his life, scheduling performances whenever he could.
The name of Joseph Bologne, Knight of St. George may not be as familiar as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but it should be. Bologna was born to a French father and a young domestic slave of Senegalese origin. Due to his upbringing and upbringing, his father liked him very much, even allowing Bologna to use the surname and title. Highly accomplished in almost everything he thought about, Bologna was a master swordsman, accomplished rider, swimmer, skater and leader. He is also one of the most influential musicians and composers in Paris during the pre-revolutionary period. And perhaps the first of African origin.
At 24, Bologna became director of a prestigious orchestra which introduced the Parisian public to Haydn’s symphonies under the baton of Bologna. At the height of their composing careers, Bologna and Mozart crossed paths, but it’s unclear how close they were. Some historians say that Mozart may have “borrowed” from the work of Bologna; others argue that it could have been the other way around.
Bologna then composed several concertos, solo works, operas, etc. His third opera, L’Amant Anonyme, is the only one to have survived the test of time in its entirety. This opera tells the story of a lover who is afraid to reveal himself to the one he loves. Many believe that Bologna’s own life inspired him as he was not allowed to marry due to his African descent.
An endlessly fascinating character, the work of Bologna is finally rediscovered, as well as this astonishing life. Searchlight Pictures is even producing a biopic on him. A quick Google search will find pages of information about his life, each more impressive than the next.
Fast forward to the 20th century, Igor Stravinsky was a composer who kept audiences going. Fresh out of the Firebird triumph and the Rite of Spring controversy, Stravinsky has decided to take a new direction. This pivotal moment in his career led him to a “neo-classical” style when he composed his one-act ballet, Pulcinella.
Written for Les Ballets Russes, Pulcinella was inspired by commedia dell’arte, which is the improvised Italian theater, and its stock of colorful characters. The suite is a distilled version of the ballet with instruments often replacing the sung roles. The ballet was a huge success from the start, with the subsequent sequel bringing it even more popularity.
Each of these composers had their fans and detractors, but they didn’t let themselves be stopped. Through everything they forged, breaking the mold of their time to create music, orchestras and audiences continue to perform and enjoy today.
Tickets for “Renegades” are now available to attend in person or to experience the multi-camera high definition live stream. More information can be found at AnchorageSymphony.org.