IF YOU GO
■ What: CSO Brahms Masterworks Concert
■ When: 7:30 p.m. today, Jan. 30.
■ Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
■ Admission: $19-$81.
■ Phone: 423-267-8583.
■ Website: www.ChattanoogaSymphony.org.
Composer Johannes Brahms may be synonymous with his famous lullaby, but tonight's CSO concert will do anything but put the audience to sleep.
The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will play an all-Brahms concert tonight, Jan. 30, in the Tivoli Theatre. The program will open with Symphony No. 3 in F Major, then piano soloist Geoffrey Duce will join the musicians for Piano Concerto No. 1.
"Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 1 have plenty of beautiful and heartfelt themes that people can easily relate and associate with," says conductor Kayoko Dan. "Brahms was meticulous about every single detail in his music. As musicians, we must treat every single note very importantly without losing the essence and momentum of each phrase, movement, the entire work. This is why we musicians never grow tired of performing Brahms' works and listeners continue to love the works and discover new things every time they listen to it."
For example, during Symphony No. 3, concertgoers should listen for a repetitive motif throughout the movements -- the top notes of the first three chords: F, A-flat and F. Some music historians believe this FAF is an homage to two of Brahms' friends: composer Robert Schumann and violinist Joseph Joachim, according to a CSO news release.
FAF is said to have been an acronym for a motto associated with Brahms: "Frei aber froh," which means "Free but happy." Joachim's motto was "Frei aber einsam," "Free but lonely." Music historians also say FAF is a tip of Brahms' hat to Schumann's love for hidden messages through note spelling.
Dan says Duce was brought to her attention by a friend she deeply admires and respects.
"My friend recommended him because Geoffrey is a phenomenal virtuosic artist, sensitive, unique and sincere. He possesses great imagination and colors and a full and rich tone," she says of his artistic style.
Duce has performed throughout America, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong. As a concerto soloist he has appeared with the Sinfonie Orchester Berlin in the Berlin Philharmonie, the New York Sinfonietta, the Scottish Sinfonia, the Edinburgh Philharmonic and the Olympia Symphony Orchestra.
He won the Young Artists Award from Britain's National Federation of Music Societies and was awarded the Prix de Piano at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. He has recorded for BBC Radio 3 and Hong Kong Radio. He is currently assistant professor of music at Indiana University in South Bend.
Contact Susan Pierce at spierce@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6284.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...