Part of the 2023-2024 AES Ohio Foundation Season’s Masterworks Series
Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3
Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat major
Aaron Brant, French horn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 “Jupiter”
Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor
DAYTON, OH (Oct. 30, 2023) – Dayton Performing Arts Alliance continues Dayton Philharmonic’s 2023-2024 Masterworks Series with an evening showcasing three of classical music’s heavyweight composers. The evening features Beethoven’s grand Lenore Overture No. 3 and a Mozart masterpiece, Symphony No. 41 in C major, often called “Jupiter.” The concert also highlights Dayton Philharmonic Principal Horn, Aaron Brant in Strauss’ Horn Concerto, No. 2 in E-flat major. Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman leads the orchestra on Nov. 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center. Tickets are on sale now and start at $5. For tickets, call 937-228-3630 or visit daytonperformingarts.org/tickets.
“Some people might think our November Masterworks program is a little ‘old fashioned,’” says Neal Gittleman, Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor. “An overture, a concerto, and a symphony. Two pieces from the Classical Era and one trying to re-live the Classical Era. So, I guess I plead, ‘Guilty as charged.’”
“There’s something familiar and heartwarming about the overture-concerto-symphony model,” continues Gittleman. “And we have three great ones at this concert. Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 turned out to be so good that he didn’t use it to open his opera Fidelio. Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony is the epitome of Classical style and allows Mozart to show off a bit. I’m really looking forward to collaborating with DPO Principal Horn Aaron Brant on Stauss’ Horn Concerto No. 2. It’s just a wonderful piece of music nostalgia, giving a slightly modern twist to the shapes and forms of the classical concerto.”
Labeled by critic Michael Steinberg as “…too strong a piece and too big, even too dramatic…” to be an overture to an opera, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 concentrates the grandeur of Fidelio into a brief but musically potent masterpiece. Discarded as an overture in orchestra repertoire, composer and conductor Gustav Mahler revived the piece by inserting it between two scenes in the second act of Fidelio, which still occurs today.
Richard Strauss composed his Horn Concerto No. 2 in 1942 while living in Vienna. Written as a classical-style fantasy during the dark days of World War II, the Horn Concerto No. 2 premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 1943 and has been one of the most performed and recorded French horn concertos in the 20th century. Soloist and Principal Horn, Aaron Brant, an Olive W Kettering Endowed Guest Artist, performs the concerto.
“Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 2 is my favorite concerto for horn and orchestra,” says DPO Principal Horn Aaron Brant. “I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it’s one of the best in the horn repertoire. Strauss was in the prime of his career when he wrote this work. He wrote with a voice uniquely his own but still pays homage to the way composers of the Classical period approached the horn while expanding the boundaries of what was possible for horn players at that time. I’m extremely grateful to work with Neal, who has been so supportive of me over the years. I can’t wait to hear my colleagues bring this piece to life on stage- it’s going to be a wild ride!”
Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, known as Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 55, is the longest and the last symphony he composed. Premiered in 1789, the Jupiter Symphony is regarded by many critics as one of the most excellent compositions in classical music and as the pinnacle of Mozart’s instrumental music.
Neal Gittleman hosts a Take Note Talk live in the Mead Theater of the Schuster Center from 6:30–7:00 p.m. before each evening’s concert. Take Note Talks provide an in-depth perspective of the evening’s programming. After the concert, he’ll also host a Talk Back to answer questions from the audience once most of the crowd leaves the theater.
Tickets to Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony are on sale now and start at $5. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 937-228-3630, in person at the Dayton Live Box Office in the Schuster Center, or online at daytonperformingarts.org/tickets
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s 23-24 Masterworks Series, part of the 23-24 AES Ohio Foundation Season, continues with Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony (Jan. 12-13, 2024); Brahms: A German Requiem (March 8-9, 2024), Total Eclipse: The Sun and The Planets (April 5-6. 2024) and New World Symphony (June 7-8, 2024). All performances are held at the Schuster Center and begin at 7:30 pm.