A Classical Extravaganza

  • Concert Information
  • Biography
  • Program Notes

January 22, 2022, 7:30 pm – Akin Auditorium

 

Experience a truly Classical Extravaganza with music from the period that is set apart for its elegance, balance and simplicity.  This special concert will be held in the intimate and beautiful Akin Auditorium and will be followed by a reception for our guests.  The Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto will feature WFSO’s principal flutist, Dr. Pam Youngblood, and harpist Dr. Jaymee Haefner, who will perform the joyous and melodic work.  The musical selections travel a broad arc, from Haydn’s vibrant yet serious Overture to an English Opera to Schubert’s dramatic and tragic Fourth Symphony.

*This event is separate from the subscription season and is not included in the purchase of regular season tickets.  Discounted pricing is available with season ticket purchase.

Haydn: Overture for an English Opera

Mozart: Flute and Harp Concerto in C major

Schubert: Symphony 4 in C minor (Tragic)

Guest Artists: Dr. Pam Youngblood, flute

Dr. Jaymee Haefner, harp

 

 

Dr. Pamela Youngblood, flute

Pamela Youngblood, DMA, Chair of the Department of Music and Theatre and Co-Coordinator for the School of Arts, teaches graduate and undergraduate flute students, flute pedagogy, flute choir, and a course on women in music.

Youngblood has been principal flutist and a featured soloist of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra since 1980, and was soloist in a performance of David Amram’s new concerto Giants of the Night in 2004 with the composer conducting. She also recently performed the Lowell Liebermann Flute Concerto with the WFSO.  An active recitalist, she has been a featured performer at conventions of the National Flute Association in Anaheim, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Charlotte, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and San Diego, the Texas Music Educators Association, and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors. 

Her first CD, Wind Song: New American Classics for Flute and Piano, was recorded with TWU collaborative artist Gabriel Bita  and released on the Azica Records label in May 2010.  Her second CD Sparkle and Wit: International Treasures for Flute and Piano was released on the Azica label in 2012.  She has performed internationally in Germany, Spain, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, England, Scotland, and the Czech Republic as a member of the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, based at the New England Conservatory, and the International Flute Orchestra. 

Youngblood recently received national recognition as the Phi Kappa Phi Artist for 2016-2018.  In October of 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate, Doctor of Music, honoris causa, by Nashotah House Seminary, Wisconsin. In November of 2014, she was granted the title of Lay Canon for the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, an honor bestowed in recognition for several decades of dedicated work in church music.  She also received the Advocacy for Music Therapy Award, presented by the Texas State Task Force of the Southwest Region of the American Music Therapy Association, in the spring of 2014.

 

Dr. Jaymee Haefner, harp

Jaymee Haefner’s performances have been described by Daniel Buckley as possessing “an air of dreamy lyricism… interlocking melody lines with the deftness of a dancer’s footwork.” Jaymee joined the University of North Texas College of Music faculty in 2006 and serves as Assistant Professor of Harp and Director of Undergraduate Studies. Her performances include a feature at the 50th Anniversary American Harp Society (AHS) National Conference in New York City, the 2014 AHS National Conference in New Orleans, and performances throughout the Dallas–Fort Worth area, in Mexico, the Czech Republic and Russia. She published The Legend of Henriette Renié and One Stone to the Building: Henriette Renié’s Life Through Her Works for Harp and has presented lectures for the World Harp Congress (WHC) in Sydney and Amsterdam. Jaymee was Chairman of the 2011 AHS Institute and serves as the Treasurer for the WHC. Dr. Haefner obtained her BM and MM degrees from the University of Arizona and her DM degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.  When she isn’t on stage, Dr. Haefner trains in American Karate with her son, and recently obtained her first-degree black belt.

“A Classical Extravaganza”

Program Notes

January 22, 2022

Todd Giles

“O Mozart, immortal Mozart! what numberless consoling images of a better, brighter world have you engraved upon our souls?”

Franz Schubert

Franz Joseph Haydn: Overture for an English Opera in C Major, Hob. 1a-3 (1791)

It was nearly the opera that never was—Haydn’s The Soul of the Philosopher, or Orpheus and Eurydice. It was also his last opera, composed when he was 58 years old. Haydn’s longtime patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy, died in 1790, freeing up time for Haydn to finally accept the invitation to visit London, where his work had already been performed and praised for many years. Indeed, the London press referred to him as a “modern-day Orpheus.” His trip was based on an agreement to write six new symphonies and one opera, the latter for John Gallini, the owner of a new opera house then under construction. While there, he composed some of his best-known work, including the Surprise, Drumroll, Military and London symphonies. His operatic version of the ancient Greek tale of Orpheus was not performed as planned in London in 1791, nor any subsequent year during his lifetime. In fact, it remained unperformed until its premiere in 1951 in Florence, Italy. It was another four years before it was finally heard by Londoners. Why the 160 year wait? Politics. King George III and his son, the Prince of Wales, each backed rival opera houses. Suffice it to say that royal egos trumped the music and London lost out. That said, the overture of the opera itself was heard as a stand-alone work in 1795 at the Theatre Royal as part of a grand courtly masque in celebration of the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the Princess of Brunswick. The Overture to an English Opera, as it became known, was written in what would become the standard overture form consisting of a slow introduction leading to a faster main section. This brief performance perhaps provided some consolation to Haydn, who had been enamored with the tale of Orpheus since he conducted Gluck’s opera Orfeo de Euridice at Eszterháza fifteen years earlier. 

Mozart: Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra in C Major, K. 299 (1778) 

Although Mozart was not a big fan of the flute (having written only three concertos for the instrument), the Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra has since become one of the most popular double concertos in the repertoire. Written in the spring of 1778 during an extended stay in Paris as a commission for a wealthy patron and his daughter, this unusual concerto likewise brings to the foreground an instrument that was not yet taken seriously as an orchestral family member at the time—the harp, or “plucked piano.” Considering Mozart wrote no other works for the harp, we can assume his taste for the instrument was even less favorable than that of the flute. Although certainly a tenuous paring in Mozart’s day, the flute-harp repertoire grew quite rapidly in the 19th century, especially for unaccompanied duo. Mozart not only had his patrons in mind when penning the score, he also had contemporary French tastes in mind as well, as seen in the concerto’s similarity to the popular sinfonia concertante of the time, which combined both the concerto and symphony genres by having one or more solo instruments in conversation with and a part of the orchestra. Today, the concerto is often performed by chamber ensembles as a way to highlight their own flutists and harpists, as is the case tonight as we feature WFSO regulars Pam Youngblood and Jaymee Haefner.  

Franz Schubert: Symphony 4 in C minor, D. 417 (“Tragic”) (1816) 

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was the only Classical Viennese composer actually born and raised in Vienna—Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn all settled in the Austrian capital city. Regarded as the greatest art song composer, Schubert was the last in line of the Frist Viennese School composers, while at the same one of the first Romantic ones. Unlike Mozart and Beethoven, he was neither a child prodigy nor a great virtuoso, but he was prolific, leaving over 600 songs for solo voice and piano, eight symphonies, and a large body or chamber works by his untimely death at the age of 31 of syphilis. At 11, having passed an audition with Mozart’s nemesis, Antonio Salieri, young Franz entered the Imperial Court Chapel as a choirboy. As a burgeoning composer, he was more influenced by the work of Haydn and Mozart than that of his closer contemporary, Beethoven, whose symphonies were just beginning to hit their stride. Schubert’s life exemplified that of the neglected Romantic genius who died poor and in all but obscurity. Mozart too had a tough time of it, but at least he had some success during his lifetime; it would require the passing of a full generation before Schubert’s genius would be fully recognized. Like most of Schubert’s orchestral work, the Symphony No. 4 in C Minor was not performed publically for at least two decades after the his death, premiering in Leipzig, Germany in 1849. Composed in 1816, when he was just 19 years old, the self-dubbed “Tragic” symphony was his most serious symphony to date, though the subtitle falls a little flat when one listens to the work. If anything, it calls to mind the Strum und Drang symphonies of Haydn and other composers of the era, not the personal anguish of, say, Beethoven’s later work. The long first movement opens with a slow introduction (Adagio molto) reminiscent of Haydn, before becoming faster and more lively (Allegro vivace), and thus more suggestive of the influence of Mozart. The lovely second movement, marked Andante, is introduced slowly by the strings and then joined by a lone oboe, after which enter the other woodwinds. The calm beauty of the movement is interrupted twice by brief passages of considerable agitation (a hint of the “tragic”?), but soon returns to the gentle lyricism and the first thematic material before moving into the third movement, a Minuet. The closing Allegro returns us to the mood of the opening movement, ending on anything but a tragic note. Perhaps, when we are 19, nearly everything can be deemed tragic in one way or another. Listen the Symphony No. 4 and decide for yourself.