Once Boise Philharmonic musical director Robert Franz took a second look at his complete season, a realization overtook him. He had somewhat unconsciously programmed music that literally changed music and in some aspects the world.
Not to be overly dramatic, but Beethoven 9, Wagners Ring cycle and Rite of Spring, they are all pieces that were life-changing for musicians and for audiences, Franz says. These are monumental pieces that changed how we think about music.
The finale piece for the opening concert, Brahms Symphony No. 1, is also one of those pieces.
It took Brahms 19 years to complete his first symphony out of a fear of being compared to Beethoven, which it was when it was debuted.
Its a symphony that feels incredibly perfect and complete, Franz says. It has all the elements of a romantic symphony: incredibly beautiful, lush melodies and a dramatic narrative that goes through the 45 minutes of music.
The concert opens with avant-garde composer Arthur Honeggers Pacific 231, a tone poem that describes Honeggers passion for trains.
Whats cool in this piece is that the tempo slows down as the speed of the notes quicken, Franz says. You have these two opposing forces going on that creates an inner tension in the piece, which I think makes it so successful.