Carl Maria von Weber's Overture to the opera Euryanthe premiered at Vienna's Kartnertor Court Opera on October 25, 1821. The opera's overture was extraordinarily well received and has remained popular to this day. Weber to wrote, “a work complete in itself, in which every trace and contribution of the related arts involved should blend together and disappear, and thus, in sacrificing their own individuality, should create a new world of art.” This ideal, realized to a certain extent in Euryanthe, antedated Wagner’s concept of music drama by a generation.
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major was composed, together with the Piano Concerto No. 24, in one month in 1786 the same year he completed Figaro. One of the more popular of his concertos, it is remarkable for its slow movement in F-sharp minor; the only work he composed in that key. Mozart’s later concertos, of which No. 23 is an example, strive to maintain a mean between a sort of symphony with piano solos and a virtuoso piano fantasia with orchestral accompaniment. Mozart’s piano concertos are filled with transitional passages, modulations and dissonances that reveal his own technical skills as a composer and pianist.
Between the time Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 was conceived (March 1877) and premiered (February 1878) the composer was also writing the opera Eugene Onegin, he met, married and separated from Antonia Miliukova and he secures a benefactor in Nadezhda von Meck to whom he dedicated his Symphony No. 4, describing the symphony to her as “ours,” and writing “how much I thought of you with every bar.” He agonized and procrastinated on the composition, which he detailed in letters to his brother and von Meck but with its completion stated it was his greatest accomplishment to date.
Lee Luvisi This performance marks Lee Luvisi’s 131st with the Louisville Orchestra, far and away the most of any guest soloist in its history. He has collaborated with every Music Director of the orchestra since its founding, as well as with numerous guest conductors through the years. He has been heard in some 52 different works with this ensemble alone.
Before retiring from concertizing outside his native Louisville in 2001, Luvisi’s career included over 3,000 performances across all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia. Among these were hundreds of solo recitals and appearances with 160 orchestras. He has been soloist with nearly every important orchestra in North America and under such distinguished conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, William Steinberg, Sir Neville Marriner and Robert Shaw. In Europe he enjoyed many highly-acclaimed performances in London, Vienna, Berlin and other major capitals.
A lifelong chamber music devotee, Mr. Luvisi was privileged to collaborate regularly with many of the world’s foremost musicians and ensembles. Those included the Julliard, Guarneri, Cleveland and Emerson Quartets, and eminent artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Alexander Schneider, Leonard Rose, Richard Stoltzman, Frederica von Stade, Jan DeGatetani and Dawn Upshaw to name a few. A long-time Artist Member of the Chamber of Music Society of Lincoln Center, Luvisi also participated in the Marlboro, Aspen, Casals, Santa Fe, Chamber Music North West, Chautauqua and Tanglewood summer festivals. He can be heard on the Delos, Bridge, Arabesque and Louisville Orchestra First Edition recording labels.
Among his most notable achievements have are a series of the complete solo keyboard works of Mozart and Beethoven, as well as Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, all given at the University of Louisville School of Music where he was Artist in Residence for nearly 40 years. His principal occupation now is in acquiring more wide-ranging solo repertoire for presentation in future local recitals. -- www.louisvilleorchestra.org