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United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
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Marine Chamber Orchestra Presents "Influences"

By Staff Sgt. Rachel Ghadiali | United States Marine Band | March 10, 2015

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Composers can be influenced by many things: religion, nature, relationships, other musicians, and much more. This Sunday, the Marine Chamber Orchestra will perform a concert titled “Influences,” a program which features the work of Johann Sebastian Bach and the work of two composers: one whose music inspired him and another who was inspired by the legendary composer. The concert is free, no tickets are required, and free parking is available in the adjacent garage. A pre-concert Irish ensemble will perform music in the lobby beginning at 1:15 p.m.

Conducted by Assistant Director 1st Lieutenant Ryan J. Nowlin, the concert will begin with Alessandro Marcello’s Concert in C minor featuring oboe soloist Staff Sgt. Tessa Vinson. At one time the celebrated oboe masterpiece was mistakenly attributed to Bach, who was so inspired by the concerto that he arranged it for solo harpsichord.

The program will continue with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D, BWV 1050, featuring flute soloist Gunnery Sgt. Elisabeth Plunk, violin soloist Gunnery Sgt. Erika Sato, and piano soloist Staff Sgt. Christopher Schmitt. 

“I love that this work has been popular for 300 years,” said Plunk. “In the early 1700s the flute, violin and harpsichord trio was a common chamber music combination. Bach took this combination and put it out in front of an orchestra showing its potential for virtuosity. I love that it is both a chamber work and concerto.”She continued: “The audience should expect a wild ride, especially from the pianist.  The cadenza at the end of the first movement is a monster. The orchestra stops and the piece becomes a template for the first ever keyboard concerto. I listen to the keyboard cadenza and think of all the great piano works that have followed in Bach’s footsteps over the past three centuries.”

Violinist Sato added, “It’s a fun, lovable piece and our pianist sounds brilliant in his fast runs and 65-bar cadenza in the first movement. The second movement of the piece, most like a chamber setting, is a warm and intimate contrast to the first and third movements.” 

“Influences” will conclude with music by Felix Mendelssohn, a composer who can be credited with the revival of Bach’s music. In the same year that Mendelssohn arranged and conducted Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, almost 80 years after Bach’s death, the composer initially sketched Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Opus 56, Scottish, but set it aside until its première many years later. “Musicians’ influences upon each other’s work can be traced throughout history,” Nowlin said. “We’re looking forward to presenting a program which unites Bach with two composers whose music inspired him and was inspired by him.”

Complete concert program and notes

Directions and parking information


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