JOURNEYS Meet the Music
JOURNEYS Meet the Music

Meet the Music

On January 25 and 26 in the Lensic, Pro Musica presents its Orchestra Series IV concerts titled Journeys. The MacArthur “Genius” pianist Jeremy Denk will perform two concertos, one by Mendelssohn and one by Mozart. Also on the program is a work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Melinda Wagner and the last symphony of Joseph Haydn.

 Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) wrote his Symphony No. 104 at the end of his life-long exploration into the symphonic art form. As a celebrity composer in London in 1790 and again in 1794, Haydn wrote twelve symphonies for his English audiences, which are now considered his crowning symphonic achievements. The last of these, No. 104 has become known as the London Symphony. Haydn pulls out all the stops with this work, and delivers to us a masterpiece of invention and ingenuity. Listen to the high-spirited and jolly last movement (6:21).

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) wrote some 27 concertos for piano, most of them for himself to perform at the grand salons and palaces of Vienna. Many of these concertos are extraordinary and most of them are ingenious. The one you will hear on today’s concert, No. 19, firmly belongs in the former category. Consider this (Neal Zaslaw, Mozart’s Piano Concertos, 1996):

“From time to time in the history of human affairs someone has altered the course of Western   culture by creating a corpus of work so monumental in its extent and so profound in its content as to become permanently influential in its effect. Perhaps the plays of Shakespeare, the etchings of Dürer, the architecture of Palladio, the novels of Dickens, the paintings of Monet, and the symphonies of Beethoven may serve as examples of such extraordinary bodies of works, which in quantity, quality, and influence mark epochs in the history of culture… I regard Mozart’s piano concertos as belonging to that select list of mind- and culture-altering accomplishments.”

Melinda Wagner (b. 1957) wrote Little Moonhead in 2009, taking her inspiration from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 (1721), scored for a virtuoso violin soloist, two sweet flutes, and string orchestra.  She describes the first movement as “a counterpart to the lilting scales and arpeggios of Bach’s Brandenburg No. 4.” The second movement Moon Ache is a nod to Bach’s pastoral treatment of the flutes. Wagner calls the last movement Fiddlehead, conjuring up fanciful references to fiddlehead ferns, the violin as “fiddle,” and the elaborately carved scroll at the head of the violin. This movement is “fast and furious with lots of rosin flying around.” Visit Melinda’s website to learn more about her.

Visit Melinda Wagner’s website

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) wrote his Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25 during a visit to Italy in 1830, the same trip that gave rise to his beloved Italian Symphony. Mendelssohn’s style incorporates the clean textures and logical framework from the Classical Period (1750-1820), but he fills that frame with an abundance of romantic melodies and glittering passagework. Listen to a particularly fun and dazzling excerpt of his Piano Concerto No. 1 (2:59).

More Meet the Music

To learn more about the music, join us one hour before each Pro Musica Lensic concert and hear informative conversations with Music Director Tom O’Connor and the guest artists. Free to ticket holders.

Meet Melinda Wagner

Pro Musica is delighted to announce that Melinda Wagner will be in Santa Fe for these concerts. You can hear her at Sunday’s Meet the Music. She will also attend the Artist Dinner following Sunday’s concert, and will be the featured guest at the January 27th Coda Circle event.

505.988.4640 | 

Orchestra Series IV


Lensic Performing Arts Center

Saturday, January 25 at 4 PM

Sunday, January 26 at 3 PM

Pro Musica Orchestra

Thomas O’Connor, conductor

Jeremy Denk, piano

MELINDA WAGNER Little Moonhead     

FELIX MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25

ROBERT SCHUMANN Concert Allegro with Introduction, Op. 134

JOSEPH HAYDN Symphony No. 104 in D Major, “London,” Hob I:104

After Sunday’s concert, join our guest artists Jeremy Denk and Melinda Wagner, Pro Musica musicians, and members of the board at one of our signature Artist Dinners, featuring a delicious 3-course dinner with fine wines. $95 per person ($40 tax-deductible), reservations required through the Pro Musica Box Office, 505-988-4640.

505.988.4640 |


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Tickets range from $20-$100.

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