Masterworks Series 

Bass & Brahms

Saturday November 6 at 8:00pm

Old Cabell Hall

Sunday November 7 at 3:30pm

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Performing Arts Center

Benjamin Rous, Conductor

Peter Spaar, Bass


[click title for preview]

MAZZOLI Dark with Excessive Bright (2016) 13’

BRAHMS  Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 (1876) 45’

About the Program

Our very own Principal Bass, Pete Spaar, takes the stage for Missy Mazzoli’s soaring concerto for double bass and string orchestra, Darkness with Excessive Bright.  The title is a phrase from 17th century poet John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, that – according to the composer – evokes a description of God’s raiment as described by the blind author.  The concerto beams Baroque influences through a modern lens, and has received widespread acclaim as an important new work for an oft-overlooked instrument.

Johannes Brahms was often described as Beethoven’s successor.  A deep respect for Beethoven’s genius is evident in Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, and even he admitted the composer’s penetrating influence on the work which took nearly 20 years to complete.  But its musical language is markedly 19th century Romantic.  With an extended formal introduction and a triumphant ending, today’s audiences embrace Brahms’ first symphony as a part of the standard symphonic repertoire.


Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia

Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center
[updated 9/16/21]

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