Program Notes from An All Beethoven Program

Program Notes from An All Beethoven Program
Masterworks I
September 17, 2016 | 8 p.m.
Theater at North, Scranton
September 18, 2016 | 3 p.m.
The Kirby Center from Creative Arts, Wyoming Seminary, Kingston


By Peter Wynne

We open the 45th season of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic with an all-Beethoven program as the orchestra and our music director, Lawrence Loh, explore three works by one of classical music’s greatest composers.


We begin the program with the overture to Beethoven’s only full-length ballet score, The Creatures of Prometheus,” and follow it with his third piano concerto with pianist Shai Wosner at the keyboard. After intermission, we wind things up with the “Eroica” Symphony, the composer’s third outing in the symphonic form.


Beethoven in the Early 1800s

The three works on our bill premiered in just over four years at the start of the 19th century: the ballet on March 28th, 1801; the concerto two years and eight days later, and the symphony two years after that — on April 7th, 1805. And yet the three inhabit very different musical worlds.


Beethoven (born Bonn, 1770; died Vienna, 1827) had come to Vienna from Bonn in 1792, and he had quickly gained the patronage of several important noblemen — Prince Karl Lichnowsky, Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz and Baron Gottfried van Swieten among them.

Program Notes from An Evening of Opera Overtures and Arias

May 6, 2016 | 8pm
Scranton Cultural Center

On our final musical journey of the 2015-16 season, we explore the operatic worlds of France and Italy and take a quick visit to Bohemia.

In the grand-old operatic tradition, we open our program tonight with an overture — specifically the Overture to Luisa Miller, which Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1849 for a “melodrama tragico” that was well received but which has never become part of the standard opera repertoire. The libretto was based on a play by the German dramatist Friedrich von Schiller: “Kabale und Liebe” — “Intrigue and Love” — a title that hints at a plot too complicated to describe here in detail, but here’s the 15-second summary:

Program Notes from Land of the Midnight Sun

March 5, 2016 | 8pm
Kirby Center for Creative Arts at Wyoming Seminary

For the third musical journey of our 2015-16 season, we visit the Land of the Midnight Sun as maestro Lawrence Loh and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic explore works by three Scandinavian composers: Carl Nielsen, Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius.

Program Notes from Departing Washington DC

NOVEMBER 14, 2015 | 8pm
Theater at Lackawanna College

We continue our 2015-16 season with music director Lawrence Loh leading the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in music firmly rooted in three different centuries. We open the program with Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto in E-flat, “Dumbarton Oaks,” a 20th-century orchestral piece that looks back to the music of J.S. Bach. Then we jump back nearly 165 years to an 18th-century gem by W.A. Mozart, his Bassoon Concerto in B-flat. And after intermission, we leap forward some nine decades to wrap up the evening with an early orchestral masterpiece of Johannes Brahms, his Serenade in D.