Meridian Star

March 5, 2014

Meridian Symphony Orchestra presents Beethoven and Mendelssohn

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Special to The Star  

    On Saturday at 7 p.m., the Meridian Symphony Orchestra will present a classical concert at MSU Riley Center featuring the works of Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Smetana.

    Music director Peter Rubardt will conduct the MSO in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral) and will be joined by guest violinist Bella Hristova for Felix Mendelssohn’s beloved Violin Concerto in E minor.  Leading off the evening is Smetana’s Overture to the Bartered Bride.

         Bella Hristova has performed with orchestras throughout the world. A native of Bulgaria, Hristova began violin studies at the age of 6. At age 18, she entered the Curtis Institute of Music, proceeding to win the 2008-2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. A recipient of numerous awards, Hristova is  known for her “impeccable sound, technique, power, and control.” In addition to the world’s great concert halls, she has appeared numerous times with Garrison Keillor’s “ A Prairie Home Companion” on NPR.

    Loaded with nostalgic, luscious melodies, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is a jewel of the violin repertoire. Created over several years, but first publicly performed in 1844, the orchestra and violin join in light-hearted folly, a period of contemplation, then race to the conclusion with the soloist brilliantly leading the way. A heart-rending concerto!

    Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony is unlike his other symphonic works in a significant manner. This is a programmatic composition, each segment of which is easily identifiable by its musical content. The piece represents a day in the arms of nature.

    The opening movement is entitled “Awakening of Cheerful Feelings on Arriving in the Country,” followed by “Scene at the Brook.” In sequence come “Merry Gathering of Country Folk,” a “Thunderstorm,” and with clearing weather, “Shepherd’s Song, Happy and Thankful Feelings after the Storm.”

    Bedrich Smetana’s opera “The Bartered Bride” helped him gain prestige and a reputation as the leading 19th century Czech musician . Though the plot of the opera concerns a comedy of errors surrounding an arranged marriage, brokers, and familial interference, the music from the Overture bears no resemblance to the integral music within the “opera” itself.

    Instead, the overture you will hear on Saturday is simply a wakeup call, a rousing whirlwind of nationalistic folk tunes to set the tone for the main attraction.

    A pre-concert gathering begins at 6 p.m. and will provide inside information on the evening's concert.

     Tickets are available at MSU Riley Center Box Office: “A” seats- $35; “B” seats- $25; All military — active or retired and spouses - $10; Students (all ages)-$10. Tickets are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at 6 p.m. on the evening of the concert.  For tickets, call the Riley Center Box Office at 601-696-2200. Tickets area also available at