NMF to Present Schubert’s Symphony no. 9 in C (“The Great”)

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On June 9, the Festival Symphony Orchestra will be performing two masterpieces of Romantic music: Schubert’s Symphony no. 9 in C (“The Great”) D. 944, and Brahms’ Piano Concerto no. 2 in B-flat, op. 83. The Symphony, one of Schubert’s most famous, is a musically progressive work of unusual length. In the early years of its existence, it was an obscure work, not being performed in full until 1839, over a decade after Schubert’s death. Upon its premiere, Mendelssohn and Schumann were ecstatic and appreciative, but for years afterward, many orchestras remained frosty in their attitude towards the work. However, modern audiences and performers enthusiastically

NMF piano mentor Michael Gurt

embrace the work, and its unique length, instrumentation, and development are recognized as being landmarks in Romantic orchestral music.  Brahms’ second Piano Concerto is another groundbreaking work. While Brahms himself coyly called it “a tiny, tiny piano concerto, with a tiny, tiny wisp of a scherzo,” the work is in truth an emotionally powerful, energetic, extensive, and vibrant work,

The Symphony, one of Schubert’s most famous, is a musically progressive work of unusual length. In the early years of its existence, it was an obscure work, not being performed in full until 1839, over a decade after Schubert’s death. Upon its premiere, Mendelssohn and Schumann were ecstatic and appreciative, but for years afterward, many orchestras remained frosty in their attitude towards the work. However, modern audiences and performers enthusiastically embrace the work, and its unique length, instrumentation, and development are recognized as being landmarks in Romantic orchestral music.  Brahms’ second Piano Concerto is another groundbreaking work. While Brahms himself coyly called it “a tiny, tiny piano concerto, with a tiny, tiny wisp of a scherzo,” the work is in truth an emotionally powerful, energetic, extensive, and vibrant work,

Brahms’ second Piano Concerto is another groundbreaking work. While Brahms himself coyly called it “a tiny, tiny piano concerto, with a tiny, tiny wisp of a scherzo,” the work is in truth an emotionally powerful, energetic, extensive, and vibrant work, sometimes considered one of Brahms’ greatest works and some of the greatest music for piano. Despite lacking the bold-faced, showy virtuosity found in so many other Romantic-era concerti, the concerto imposes countless technical challenges upon the pianist in order to be expressed in a truly beautiful performance. “I think the Brahms B-flat

“I think the Brahms B-flat concerto is possibly the greatest music ever written for the piano, and it offers the pianist a terrifying challenge,” said NMF Piano Mentor Michael Gurt, who will be the soloist for the June 9 performance. “The solo part contains one awkward and difficult passage after another, yet the music should sound beautiful and natural when properly played. There is no virtuoso display, yet the work is far more difficult to play than any of the popular display pieces. It sounds best when played as though the performer has nothing to prove. The musical rewards are enormous, and it is truly a privilege to have a chance to play it.”

The concert will be in Decker Theater, on the Washington College campus, on Friday, June 9, at 7:30 pm. The Festival Symphony Orchestra will be led by guest conductor Nikolay Lalov of Portugal.

Tickets are $20, available at NMF website or at Festival “Headquarters” in the Chestertown Visitor Center. For entrance to all ticketed concerts this season, you can purchase a $250 Festival Pass that lasts for the duration of the Festival, which runs from June 4-17. For more information, visit NMF website or call 443.480.0221 or send an email to info@nationalmusic.us.

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