Folsom Symphony showcases French horn quartet

Folsom Symphony French horn soloists are: Angelina Contreras, Gary Suits, Guylene "Gigi" Tree and Mark Sheldon.
Folsom Symphony French horn soloists are: Angelina Contreras, Gary Suits, Guylene "Gigi" Tree and Mark Sheldon.

For its March 23 concert, the Folsom Symphony will present only three pieces … but they are masterpieces.

First on the program, aptly titled “Our Magnificent Horns,” is Robert Schumann’s “Konzertstuck,” a creative “concertante” work from the 19th-century European Romantic era. A concertante composition showcases soloists, usually more than one, within the piece. For this concert, the soloists are four Folsom Symphony French horn players: Angelina Contreras, Gary Suits, Guylene “Gigi” Tree and Mark Sheldon.

Schumann’s “Konzertstuck,” which one reviewer described as “an invigorating and blazing piece of delightful music” and another characterized as “a spectacular showcase for four horns,” premiered in Leipzig in 1850.

The second piece is “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.” The unusual name can be easily explained. English composer Vaughan Williams wrote his 20th-century piece to resemble an Elizabethan-era “fantasy” using a melody by English composer Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585). Many of Williams’ works are inspired by English Renaissance music.

The “Tallis Fantasia,” a beautiful composition featuring a string quartet with string orchestra, premiered in Gloucester, England, in 1910. The music can be heard in several films, including “The Passion of Christ” and “Rowing in the Wind.”

The evening’s final presentation is Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 3,written at Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1883. The work premiered that December in Vienna, though Brahms continued to polish it for two more years. A music critic at the time wrote that, of Brahms’ first three symphonies, his “third strikes me as being artistically the most nearly perfect.” Its finale is “lyrical, passionate,” then fades away to a quiet ending.

Listeners may be familiar with this symphony as the theme for the 1961 film “Goodbye Again” and 1946’s “Undercurrent.” Frank Sinatra used the tune for his 1951 song “Take My Love.”

It is important that patrons buy tickets early for this performance; the February concert sold out a few weeks in advance.

Sellouts have become the norm for recent Folsom Symphony performances. Last season, the symphony added three performances, including a third night of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, because of ticket demand. A second night to the upcoming, always-popular pops concert “Made in America” has also been added. The program will now be presented Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18, at 7:30 p.m.

The May repertoire showcases the ingenuity of American composers with selections from Stephen Schwartz’s “Wicked,” John Williams’ “Saving Private Ryan,” “E.T.,” and “Schindler’s List,” Copland’s “Four Dance Episodes From “Rodeo,” Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, first movement, “America the Beautiful” and the “Armed Forces March.” Guest violinist Dawn Harms will solo with the orchestra.

All Folsom Symphony concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at Three Stages on the Folsom Lake College campus. Buy tickets online at folsomsymphony.com or call (916) 608-6888 or visiting the college ticket office. For more information on the Folsom Symphonyvisit the website or call (916) 357-6718.

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Posted by on Mar 17 2013.
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