Music Director Notes: Spangled Stars

Music Director Richard Pittman writes about our next concert:

The main work on the program is Michael Gandolfi’s CHESAPEAKE: 1814:  the story of the creation of the Star Spangled Banner told through the historical events of the War of 1812. Gandolfi begins his work with ANACREON, the drinking song upon which the music of THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER is based. The music consists of a series of American and British patriotic and military songs from the early 19th century. Each song depicts a subsequent battle and event in the War of 1812, culminating in the siege of Fort McHenry in Baltimore where the British fleet was defeated and where Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner. The work ends movingly with the singing of all of the verses of our National Anthem.

This is a work that will surprise you with its story of America’s surviving as a nation despite the conviction of the British at the time that America would once again be an English Colony.

We’re looking forward to working with the Concord Chorus, Kevin Leong, Director, which will be singing all of the American and British historical songs.  The audience will join the chorus and orchestra in singing the Star Spangled Banner at the very end of the work.

I chose the Beethoven Symphony because it was written in 1812 and is contemporary with all of the patriotic songs of CHESAPEAKE: 1814. Haydn was a teacher of Beethoven and a world famous figure. At the time of the War of 1812, Haydn and Beethoven were the big-name composers of the time.


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