The Marine Chamber Orchestra will continue its Summer Orchestra Series at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 16, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria. Conducted by Assistant Director Capt. Ryan J. Nowlin, concert highlights include an oboe solo and Gustav Mahler’s arrangement for string orchestra of Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14, in D minor, D. 810, Death and the Maiden. The concert is free and tickets are not required. Free parking is available in the garage adjacent to the hall.
The performance will begin with Bach’s Concerto in F for Oboe, Strings, and Continuo, BWV 1053R, arranged and edited by Gottfried Müller and Hermann Töttcher and featuring oboe soloist Gunnery Sgt. Joseph DeLuccio. The Concerto is actually a reconstruction of the likely original version of a well-known harpsichord concerto. While many harpsichord concerti originated as works for solo violin with accompaniment, many scholars note that the right hand of the work’s solo part matches the expressive range better of the oboe, and the wind instrument quickly became one of Bach’s favorites.
The program will continue with Suite for String Orchestra by Arcangelo Corelli. Corelli was an exceptional violinist at a young age and was able to create six collections of trio sonatas, violin and continuo sonatas, and concerti grossi. The Suite for Strings is actually comprised of three dance movements from Corelli’s sonatas for violin and continuo: Sarabanda, Giga, and the Badinerie, closing the suite with virtuosic violin playing and dazzling passagework.
The concert will close with Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, originally written for string quartet and arranged for string orchestra by Mahler. Mahler’s string orchestra version has been performed and recorded dozens of times since the première; however, he never actually presented the string orchestra version during his lifetime, perhaps scared that audiences would riot at the treatment of a work originally conceived for quartet. It wasn’t until several decades after his death that Mahler’s daughter Anna discovered the annotated Schubert quartet score and passed it along to scholars David Matthews and Donald Mitchell, of which an edition for string orchestra was created and premiered. The popularity of the work demonstrates that an audience indeed exists for both the original quartet and the orchestra arrangement.
“Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 is an undisputed masterwork in that genre and Mahler’s arrangement, one he never chose to conduct himself, is exceptional, bringing the work to new life,” Nowlin said. “It’s my hope the music on this program will provide a reprieve from life’s unceasing tempo and provide an opportunity for introspection and reflection.”
Complete program and notes