Celebrating Richard Strauss's 150th Anniversary
By SSgt Brian Rust
| | January 22, 2014
The Marine Band will celebrate the 150th anniversary of composer Richard Strauss with a tribute concert at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 26 at Northern Virginia Community College's Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, Va. Conducted by Assistant Director Capt. Michelle A. Rakers, the concert is free and no tickets are required.
"While he is mainly known for his operas and tone poems, Richard Strauss has given the wind band tremendous jewels with his compositions for chamber ensembles," Capt. Rakers said. "We are excited to highlight two of those such works in this anniversary concert."
The first half of the program is dedicated to the composer's landmark work for chamber winds, The Happy Workshop. This monumental piece was crafted more than 60 years after Strauss's first foray into composing for the medium as a teenager, and his return to the ensemble came after an incredibly long career developing his expansive compositional techniques for these instruments. The first half will also feature his Festmusik der Stadt Wien (Festive Music for the City of Vienna), composed after receiving Vienna's Beethoven Prize in 1942 and offered as a "thank you" to the city that embraced his family and his work in the midst of World War II.
The program's second half will feature mezzo-soprano vocalist Gunnery Sgt. Sara Dell'Omo singing "Cäcilie" and "Morgen!" from Strauss's Four Lieder, Opus 27, as well as narrating the dramatic tone poem Don Juan, Opus 20, the piece that launched Strauss to international acclaim.
Prior to the concert, beginning at 1:15 p.m., a string trio will perform pre-concert music in the lobby. Also, following the program, patrons will have the opportunity to talk with Capt. Rakers and Gunnery Sgt. Dell'Omo in the lobby.