The Lawrence University Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Carey H. Bostian II, will perform this Saturday, April 13, at 8:00 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. This will be the final Chamber Orchestra concert of the season. The program includes three pieces: The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives, Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis for Double Stringed Orchestra and String Quartet Solo by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Symphony No. 4 in D minor, op.120 by Robert Schumann.According to Bostian, The Unanswered Question is characterized by its three distinct components. First, the solo trumpet, played by Mary Paziouros, “asks the perennial question of existence.” The “answers” to this question are played by the woodwinds, and are the second component. The third musical component of the piece is played by the strings, who play “the silences of the Druids who know, hear, and see nothing.”
Bostian adds that the Chapel is a good hall for this piece and that the acoustics of the chapel should lend themselves well to expressing the character of this piece. On a further note, the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra will play Ives’ second symphony on their upcoming concert on Saturday, May 4, also at 8:00 p.m. in the Chapel. This piece by Ives should provide the audience with an adequate introduction to the composer’s style in anticipation of the upcoming May concert.
Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis was written for a full “double string orchestra” (as described in the score) while featuring four additional string players as soloists. The soloists include Xavier Pleindoux, violin; Emi Itoh, violin; Colin Belisle, viola; and Alex Revoal, cello. Bostian feels that this piece provided him with a “great opportunity to have all of the string players at this conservatory on stage at the same time.” He also emphasized that the setting at the conservatory and specifically the chapel were ideal for this piece, and that the result will be a very “beautiful sound.” Bostian also said that he “got the feeling that the chapel was built for this piece.” Some may remember this piece as the music that was used for last year’s play here at LU, “Machinal.”
Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 in D minor is the fourth of four symphonies by Schumann. It was originally written in 1841 as the second symphony, but was set aside and later revised in 1851, becoming the fourth symphony. The piece contains four movements played without pause. According to Bostian, “many groups often play the 1841 version, but with a great deal of edits. The version we are performing is based on the edition of my [Bostian’s] teacher’s teacher, Dimitri Mitropoulos, which was a heavily edited work, with some of my own edits as well.” As a result of the variety of versions that have been produced, “no two performances of this piece are ever the same.” Bostian hopes this performance of Symphony No. 4 to be a “youthful” and “exciting,” one reflecting the fact that it was specifically “edited to lighten the work and make it more playful.”
Concert goers can look forward to a beautiful concert this Saturday with these three rich and distinct pieces in this final chamber music performance of the 2001-2002 season at LU. The final Symphony Orchestra program (also directed by Bostian) will be presented on Saturday, May 4 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel at 8:00 p.m.