IMPORTANT VENUE CHANGE ANNOUNCEMENT

Once Again, Rain Will Not Stop the TSO!
TSO Jazz Concert Moved to The Moon!
SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2015 AT 8:00PM - DOORS OPEN AT 7:00PM

The national weather service predicts a high likelihood of rain for the time-frame during the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra Jazz concert, "TSO Jazz!" at Cascades Park. In consideration for your comfort, the event planners and the Tallahassee Symphony organization have elected to move the event indoors. Details of the venue change are as follows:
New Venue: The Moon
1105 E Lafayette St
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Concert Time: The concert will remain at 8:00pm (Doors open at 7:00pm)
Children's Activities event has been cancelled.
Ticket Information: SAVE YOUR APPETITE!
We will still have low-country boil boxes available for $10, provided by Madison Social. These include crawfish, sausage and potatoes and can be shared. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase at a full bar at the Moon.
Thank you so much!

Night At The Oscars will now be held at Ruby Diamond on October 6, 2017 at 8:00pm

Hurricane Irma impacts "Night At The Oscars"

Hurricane Irma impacts on our area disrupted our ability to use Ruby Diamond for the originally scheduled date and forced the TSO to reschedule our "Night At The Oscars" event.

Patrons holding tickets for the original date (September 15, 2017) may use their same ticket for the October 6 performance.

If you have a ticket for the September 15th date and are unable to attend the October 6 performance, please contact our office at 850.224.0461 for assistance.

Thank you for your patronage and patience!
If you don't have your seat yet, tickets are available and can be purchased by using our links below, or clicking here!
Amanda Stringer, CEO, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra

Auditions for the TSO location change

The location for this Saturday's TSO Auditions has been changed to the "Early Music Room HMU229." Audition times and content remain unchanged.

2017-2018 Master Series Concert Program Notes

RING WITHOUT WORDS
Darko Butorac, Conductor
January 20, 2018
Richard Wagner (1813-83)
The Ring: An Orchestral Adventure arr. Henk de Vlieger (b. 1953)
  • Vorspiel (“Prelude”; from Das Rheingold)
  • Das Rheingold (from Das Rheingold)
  • Nibelheim (“Home of the Nibelung”; from Das Rheingold)
  • Walhall (“Valhalla”; from Das Rheingold)
  • Die Walküre (“The Valkyries”; from Die Walküre)
  • Feuerzauber (“Fire Magic”; from Die Walküre)
  • Waldweben (“Forest Webs”; from Siegfried)
  • Siegfrieds Heldentat (“Siegfried’s Feats”; from Siegfried)
  • Brünnhildes Erwachen (“Brunnhilde’s Awakening”; from Siegfried)
  • Siegfried Und Brünnhilde (from Götterdämmerung)
  • Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt (“Siegfried’s Rhine Trip”; from Götterdämmerung)
  • Siegfrieds Tod (“Siegfried’s Death”; from Götterdämmerung)
  • Trauermusik (“Funeral Music”; from Götterdämmerung)
  • Brunnhildes Opfertat (“Brunnhilde’s Sacrifice”; from Götterdämmerung)

Composer, conductor, essayist, and theorist Richard Wagner (1813-83) was born in Leipzig, Germany. Most of his oeuvre consists of operas, though he considered his own works music dramas. His extreme self-confidence is evident in the fact that he himself wrote most of his own opera texts or “librettos.” His early “romantic” operas were The Flying Dutchman (1843), Tannhäuser (1845), and Lohengrin (1850). For a period of time, Wagner and his first wife lived in London and then Paris, having left Germany to avoid creditors. They eventually returned to settle in Dresden where he conducted the Dresden Opera, and it was here, in 1848, that Wagner wrote a libretto for a single opera that he planned as Siegfrieds Tod (Siegfried’s Death), based on various Germanic and Norse legends. While living in Dresden, Wagner’s strong leftist views prompted his involvement with a political group that planned the 1849 May Uprising. The unsuccessful revolution put some of his compatriots in prison for years, but the composer was able to once again flee the country. He wrote to Franz Liszt begging him to premiere Lohengrin, which had been completed prior to his exile. Liszt accomplished this task for his friend in August 1850 in Weimar. The Wagners were living in Zurich then, and the composer continued expanding his Siegfried ideas, ending up with such a fantastically long and complex story of dwarfs, giants, gods, demi-gods, dragons, and humans that he realized he would need to divide the work into several parts. He completed Das Rheingold in 1854 and Die Walküre two years later. Work on the third opera, Siegfried, was suspended while he wrote Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Finally Wagner returned to his opera cycle and completed the tetralogy known as Der Ring des Nibelung, or The Ring for short. The individual music dramas are titled Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Siegfried and Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods). Wagner had also been designing plans for a special theater to present his music dramas and in 1872 laid the foundation for the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. For two years he struggled to raise the necessary funds for construction before King Ludwig bailed him out. The Festspielhuas presented the first complete performance of Der Ring on August 13-17, 1876.

Two of Wagner’s innovations for his music dramas are “continuous music” and “Leitmotifs.” The former indicates his desire to avoid interrupting the drama with applause following an individual aria or a duet. His very term “music drama” reveals his belief in the marriage of the drama and the music. So he created a non-stop flow of music throughout the drama. Naturally this placed greater importance on the orchestra, and Wagner made sure his orchestras were large enough to absorb the extra weight. Especially in the brass and wind sections, he added breadth and depth, incorporating instruments such as additional horns (as many as eight!), a bass trumpet, contrabass trombones and “Wagner tubas” (a combination of horn and trombone). Leitmotifs (leading motives) were an ingenious way to keep track of the multitude of characters in his music dramas. The characters (and occasionally objects or simply ideas) had their own musical motifs that would identify them as part of the drama, even when they were not on stage. (Max
Steiner borrowed this idea in his music for the 1939 film Gone with the Wind. More recently John Williams incorporated Leitmotifs in the Star Wars films, with specific musical themes associated with Princess Leia, Darth Vader, etc.)

Not having individual “numbers” in Wagner’s operas made it difficult for musicians to perform excerpts from his works. Over time, “arrangements” were made of different sections of The Ring, and selections such as “Wotan’s Farewell” and “The Ride of the Valkyries” became popular concert works. In 1991, composer and percussionist Henk de Vlieger was commissioned by his “home” orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, to create an arrangement of Wagner’s music for the orchestra’s 1992 concert tour in Germany. He dedicated the work to principal conductor Edo de Waart. De Vlieger selected what he considered the most important orchestral episodes in the four music dramas; only occasionally did he include vocal lines that were necessary to preserve the integrity of the story, and these he set for woodwinds. The result is over an hour of musical challenge and adventure for both the orchestra and the audience. The Ring, An Orchestral Adventure is scored for piccolo, three flutes, three oboes, English horn, three clarinets, bass clarinet, three bassoons, eight horns, three trumpets, bass trumpet, three trombones, contrabass trombone, bass tuba, four Wagner tubas, two timpanists, three additional percussionists, four harps (or possibly two), and strings. (Parts of the preceding information regarding Ring Without Words were taken from the arranger’s own website, http://www.henkdevlieger.nl/ Henk_de_Vlieger/the_ring.html.)
It was quite a challenge for de Vlieger to condense and organize the fifteen hours of musical material of Der Ring. Condensing the plots and sub-plots and making sense of the many, many characters in the cycle has also been extremely challenging for this writer. Hopefully the following synopsis will be helpful as you listen to the Readers Digest version of Der Ring.
A Nibelung dwarf, Alberich, steals gold from the Rhine River and renounces love in order to garner the necessary magic to forge a gold ring, one that will invest complete power and control in its owner. Two giants (brothers) have built a fortress (Valhalla) for Wotan, lord of the gods, who has promised in exchange to give them Freia, keeper of the golden apples of eternal youth. Instead, they negotiate a payment of the ring of gold, which requires Wotan (accompanied by Loge, the god of fire) to steal it from the Nibelungs. They eventually accomplish this feat, but not before Alberich curses the ring so that anyone who possesses it will die. Wotan reluctantly gives the ring to the giants who have abducted Freia. They free her, but the curse’s effect is seen almost immediately as one giant, Fafner, kills his brother over the gold ring.

In Die Walküre, Siegmund and Sieglinde discover they are brother and sister, and Siegmund has the power to pull a sword from the tree in which it was embedded on his sister Sieglinde’s (arranged) wedding day. He is subsequently killed by Sieglinde’s husband, who in turn is killed by Wotan, who, disguised as a human had secretly fathered Siegmund and Sieglinde. Sieglinde discovers she is carrying Siegmund’s child, and she hides in the forest near one of the giant’s caves to be safe from Wotan. Wotan’s other daughter Brünnhilde is condemned to human mortality because she was secretly in love with Siegmund and disobeyed her father by trying to protect Siegmund during a battle. At the end of this second drama Brünnhilde is sentenced to sleep on a mountaintop within a ring of fire that only a hero will be able to penetrate.

The third drama, Siegfried, finds Alberich’s brother, Mime, (also a Nibelung dwarf) unable to repair Siegmund’s sword, which was broken by Wotan in the previous opera. Siegfried, son of the incestuous relationship between Siegmund and Sieglinde, has been raised in the forest by Mime. Siegfried re-forges his father’s sword himself and eventually manages to slay the dragon who is really the giant Fafner who has been magically transformed. Siegfried is also given the ability to understand the language of the birds, who warn him that Mime intends to drug and kill him, so Siegfried kills Mime. He learns of a maiden who is asleep on a mountain ringed in fire, and when he finds her, he kisses her awake. The two fall in love.

Siegfried gives the magic Nibelung ring to the awakened Brünnhilde and heads down the Rhine to engage in heroic endeavors at the start of Götterdämmerung. In a Rhine castle, Gunther, king of the Gibichungs, and his sister Gutrune, receive marriage advice from their half brother, Hagen. Because he wants the ring, Hagen suggests that Gunther should consolidate his power by marrying Brünnhilde. He also says Siegfried can win her for Gunther by means of a magic potion that will cause him to forget that she is really his own bride. Siegfried’s reward will be marriage to Gutrune. Meanwhile Brünnhilde is warned that unless she gives the ring to the Rhinemaidens (who had all that gold in the first place), the gods’ doom is sealed. She refuses to do this, and the Gunther/Siegfried plot goes as planned: Siegfried, disguised as Gunther, grabs the ring from the frightened Brünnhilde and claims her as Gunther’s wife. The two return separately to the Gibichung castle, where eventually Brünnhilde recognizes Siegfried and sees the ring on his finger. She accuses him of deceit and treachery, which he denies while still
under the influence of the potion. When he leaves with Gutrune, she tells Hagen that Siegfried is most vulnerable in his back. Hagen gives an antidote to the first potion to Siegfried who then realizes that Brünnhilde is his love, and he cries out for her even as he dies from Hagen’s fatal knifing. Siegfried’s body is returned to the hall, and Hagen murders Gunther as they fight over the ring. Brünnhilde puts the ring on her own finger and throws herself on Siegfried’s funeral pyre after vowing to return the ring to the Rhinemaidens, who claim their gold as they drag Hagen to a watery grave in the river. The third drama, Siegfried, finds Alberich’s brother, Mime, (also a Nibelung dwarf) unable to repair Siegmund’s sword, which was broken by Wotan in the previous opera. Siegfried, son of the incestuous relationship between Siegmund and Sieglinde, has been raised in the forest by Mime. Siegfried re-forges his father’s sword himself and eventually manages to slay the dragon who is really the giant Fafner who has been magically transformed. Siegfried is also given the ability to understand the language of the birds, who warn him that Mime intends to drug and kill him, so Siegfried kills Mime. He learns of a maiden who is asleep on a mountain ringed in fire, and when he finds her, he kisses her awake. The two fall in love.

Siegfried gives the magic Nibelung ring to the awakened Brünnhilde and heads down the Rhine to engage in heroic endeavors at the start of Götterdämmerung. In a Rhine castle, Gunther, king of the Gibichungs, and his sister Gutrune, receive marriage advice from their half brother, Hagen. Because he wants the ring, Hagen suggests that Gunther should consolidate his power by marrying Brünnhilde. He also says Siegfried can win her for Gunther by means of a magic potion that will cause him to forget that she is really his own bride. Siegfried’s reward will be marriage to Gutrune. Meanwhile Brünnhilde is warned that unless she gives the ring to the Rhinemaidens (who had all that gold in the first place), the gods’ doom is sealed. She refuses to do this, and the Gunther/Siegfried plot goes as planned: Siegfried, disguised as Gunther, grabs the ring from the frightened Brünnhilde and claims her as Gunther’s wife. The two return separately to the Gibichung castle, where eventually Brünnhilde recognizes Siegfried and sees the ring on his finger. She accuses him of deceit and treachery, which he denies while still under the influence of the potion. When he leaves with Gutrune, she tells Hagen that Siegfried is most vulnerable in his back. Hagen gives an antidote to the first potion to Siegfried who then realizes that Brünnhilde is his love, and he cries out for her even as he dies from Hagen’s fatal knifing. Siegfried’s body is returned to the hall, and Hagen murders Gunther as they fight over the ring. Brünnhilde puts the ring on her own finger and throws herself on Siegfried’s funeral pyre after vowing to return the ring to the Rhinemaidens, who claim their gold as they drag Hagen to a watery grave in the river.

© 2017 Ruth Ruggles Akers
Dr. Akers has a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from Florida State University