Portland Entertainment

A night of great composers comes to the Portland5

If you think you are unfamiliar with classical music, you may want to think again. If your mommy or daddy ever lulled you to sleep by singing, “lullaby and good night; go to sleep little baby,” you got your first taste of Brahms. If you’ve ever seen The Ren and Stimpy Show, there is a good chance you have heard the second movement of Haydn’s, Surprise Symphony. Unless you have been living under a rock for your entire life you have heard, The Blue Danube by Strauss as it has been used repeatedly, in everything from The classic movie, 2001 to several different episodes of, The Simpson’s. You have to admit that, when you give it a chance classical music can be quite cathartic and even a little catchy.

If you’ve ever wondered what other music these three boys have to offer you can find out on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 when the Oregon Symphony presents Brahms, Haydn & Strauss at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The evening will include Johannes Brahms’, Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, Symphony No. 90 by Haydn and Don Quixote by Richard Strauss.

Each of the pieces of music on the program come with an interesting story. According to the Oregon Symphony’s website the pieces were chosen   because they, “explore the genre of theme and variations, as seen through the very different musical aesthetics.”

Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn

These days’ bloggers, vloggers and other such nuisances, will often use the name of a celebrity in a blog post title, hashtag or Tweet in order for it to show up in a search engine or get the attention of a certain celebrity’s fans or even the celebrity himself. Although you may think it is symptomatic of the modern electronic age, this sort of thing has been going on forever. It was common practice for music publishers in the 19th century to use the names of famous composers in the title of the works of lesser known composers.

Brahms found a wind ensemble piece that was originally attributed to Joseph Haydn and composed Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn. It was later determined that Haydn had nothing to do with the piece. No one has ever been able to determine who actually wrote the original music.

Symphony No. 90

Unscrupulous celebrities have been around forever and 18th century Europe was no exception. Joseph Haydn’s life mimicked that of a rock star in that he was very popular with the public and cheated on his wife many times. She retaliated by using his manuscripts to line pastry pans.

Mr. Haydn also had a big problem with authority. Haydn’s four movement, Symphony Number 90 was originally composed for Claude-François-Marie Rigoley of the French ensemble Concerts de la Loge Olympique. The ensemble liked him so much that they commissioned him to write six symphonies.

Hayden took the money and wrote the symphonies, however he also sold the music to Prince Krafft-Ernst of Oettingen-Wallerstein, who was under the impression they were his exclusively. Apparently, the concept of the entertainment lawyer had not yet emerged.

Don Quixote

Strauss used instruments to illustrate everything from the emotions of the characters, to the actions that they take, to the way eating utensils sound in this musical poem about the clumsy, but well-meaning, chivalry enthusiast Don Quixote. Each of the three major characters in the story is represented by an instrument with Don being symbolized by a cello.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on each night and tickets are $29.00 and up.

Eliza Gale – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor

Eliza Gale - PortlandMetroLive.com ContributorEliza Gale began her blogging career interviewing aspiring actors and industry professionals on a Los Angeles based website called Curvewire. She started www.elizagalesintervviews in 2012 and has interviewed over three hundred people about their jobs and businesses since then. She has contributed many interviews to 360drinks.com, which is a Portland based happy-hour website. She also writes for Examiner.com and AXS.com.