We will hear three works: Darius Milhaud's 1923 ballet, La création du monde, Opus 81a (with Chrisman's animation), Aaron Copland's Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp (1949) (with Foster) and Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A-Major, Opus 92 (1813).
It's always a good idea to have an organizing principle for a concert program, and the symphony has made much of the relationship between these works and jazz — too much, possibly.
Each of the works is a stand-alone masterpiece, and can be enjoyed by itself without any talking points. Those who listen to jazz on a regular basis will not mistake either the Clarinet Concerto or The Creation of the World for examples of the genre. Still, after a breathtakingly lyrical opening, the Copland does swing, while the Milhaud, whose ambience is decidedly more African than American, works a sea change on our only native idiom and hands it back to us in a steamy exotic disguise.
Beethoven conducted the premiere of the Seventh Symphony himself, at a charity concert in Vienna to raise money for soldiers wounded in the battle against Napoleon. The orchestra that night was an all-star ensemble, with the likes of Louis Spohr, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Antonio Salieri, Domenico Dragonetti and Mauro Giuliani all playing together under Beethoven's baton. Wir sind die Welt/wir sind die Kinder.
The fledgling music lover goes from passionate attachment to passionate attachment with a violence and finality that is scarcely credible from the distance of age. My discovery of the Seventh Symphony was a great event in the evolution of my emotional life. The gorgeous, unforgettable second movement is a triumph of polyphony, and if you don't believe me, try whistling it — it sounds like slow-motion Morse code. Yet when a full orchestra is playing it, the melodies are obvious, like a glowing mist over a dark river.
Tickets to this concert are $29 to $133, with special rates for seniors, students and groups. Discounted student tickets are available for $10 with valid student ID. Single tickets can be purchased from the Granada box office at 805.899.2222 or online by clicking here.