Josh Mather, conductor
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2
Returning to the podium for a program of a distinctively different flavor, Josh Mather will conduct music by English and Russian masters.
The Lark Ascending is a 122-line poem by English poet George Meredith. About the song of the skylark, the poem was so highly regarded that English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was inspired to write a musical work of the same name and subject. Originally composed for violin and piano in 1914, the composer re-scored it for violin and orchestra in 1920.
The reputation of Sergei Rachmaninoff as a writer of symphonies was, in 1908 at least, quite poor. The premiere of the composer's first symphony in 1897 was a critical disaster. Eager to devote more time to composing (and to escape the escalating political turmoil in Russia), Rachmaninoff relocated from Moscow to Dresden, Germany, and began work on his second symphony. After many, many revisions it was premiered in 1908, with the composer conducting, to thunderous applause. So successful was the work that it not only restored the composer's reputation and self-confidence, it also won the prestigious Glinka Award a mere ten months after its debut. Although frequently cut or revised for its length (approximately 60 minutes), Rachaminoff's Symphony No. 2 will be performed in its original, complete version by Lakeview Orchestra.