Under the baton of Music Director Beth Pflueger on Friday, January 25
Published : Monday, January 7, 2019 | 7:46 PM
The first 2019 Concert of the Pasadena Community Orchestra Performs Mozart’s, Symphony No. 40, J.S. Bach’s G Minor Fugue, Walton’s Spitfire Prelude & Fugue and Liszt’s Les Preludes under the baton of Music Director Beth Pflueger on Friday, January 25, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Mozart’s iconic Symphony No. 40 is scored in four movements. Written in 1788, its passionate tone makes it an emotionally intense work. It opens with a steady pulse in the violas and then moves into a melody in the violins. The second movement is a slower “dream escaped through the ivory gates of Elysium” (Alexandre Oulibicheff). The third movement is a powerful minuet that becomes more complex and contrapuntal as it progresses. The concluding Allegro assai resolves the piece with a clever series of developments based on the opening theme and returning to the opening G minor key.
J.S. Bach is the most famous for writing fugues during the baroque era; however, he rarely wrote for orchestras. As a result, lavish transcriptions were created, such as the G Minor / Little Fugue which is also in the key of G minor. Originally written for a baroque pipe organ between 1703 – 1707, it is one of Bach’s best-known fugues. Each section of the orchestra takes a voice in the fugue, which results in a beautiful rendition of highly-ordered imitative counterpoint that leaves nothing out.
Composed during the Second World War, Walton’s Spitfire Prelude & Fugue was written for a 1942 film called The First of the Few which deals with subjects related to the WWII conflict. Walton’s Fugue contains a patriotic march that joins with a fugue in order to the mark the completion of a fighter aircraft. Overall, the piece is extremely patriotic.
Liszt’s Les Preludes, written in 1856, is a symphonic poem written to illustrate the ancient Greek concept of the four elements – earth, air, water and fire. It was written for a large orchestra with harp and consists of five different sections.
Bethany Pflueger – A native of central Ohio, Bethany Pflueger is an active flutist, conductor and Department Chair of the Music Department at Glendale Community College. She serves as principal flutist of the Burbank Philharmonic and Peninsula symphonies, and performs regularly as a freelance player with regional orchestras and chamber music ensembles. Ms. Pflueger is a 2005 Grammy Award winner for her recorded piccolo performance with the Southwest Chamber Music Ensemble. She joined PCO as Music Director in July 2013.
Mozart’s, Symphony No. 40, J.S. Bach’s G Minor Fugue, Walton’s Spitfire Prelude & Fugue and Liszt’s Les Preludes will be performed in the sanctuary of First Church of the Nazarene (3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena) on Friday, January 25, 2019, 8:00 p.m. (just west of Michillinda Avenue). Ample free parking, wheelchair accessible.
For more information, contact (626) 445-6708 or visit www.pcomusic.org.