Tickets On Sale For Main Street Chamber Orchestra

By Jon Goldberg

Join the Main Street Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, April 13 at 4pm, at Grace Episcopal Church, Berryville, for a performance of Beethoven’s groundbreaking Symphony #3, the Eroica. Long considered one of the two or three greatest works in the classical canon, the MSCO is excited to bring this work to our community. 

“Eroica” is an Italian word that means “heroic.” Although written over 200 hundred years ago, Beethoven’s narrative of a hero’s journey to self-realization has never lost its immediacy. The first movement is restless, driven, constantly in flux. Everything pushes forward, yet never arrives — much like a military battle, with great forces on the move, always in a process of becoming. Our hero, be it Napoleon or Beethoven himself, is constantly striving towards his own hard-won self-realization.

The second movement begins with a funeral march in the French tradition, something that had never been done before in a classical symphony. However, after a battle, you must bury the dead. Musically, what Beethoven buries are the strict formal traditions of the classical style. The movement ends with a moment of heart-filling grandeur that Beethoven never surpassed.

The third movement is Beethoven’s first true symphonic “Scherzo,” and is far removed from the courtly minuet and trio form of the typical classical symphony. It is exhilarating. As the funeral march followed the battle, the scherzo follows the burial and suffering, mirroring a return to life and joy.

In the fourth movement Beethoven again breaks formal tradition by using a theme and variation structure — a framework that many musical scholars believed could not handle the weight of an end-directed symphony. Borrowing the theme from his earlier Prometheus Variations, here the “ideal Hero” is transformed into a musical representation of an “ideal society” in a fulfillment of the Enlightenment Ideals Beethoven held so dear. 

Our concert on the 13th will open with the thrilling Clarinet Concerto #1 by Bernhard Crussell. Composed between 1808 and 1810, it is a delight from beginning to end — a virtuoso showpiece that is sure to thrill the listener. Born in Finland in 1775, Crussell is a contemporary of Beethoven’s and is considered to be the most outstanding Finnish composer before Jean Sibelius. 

Virtuoso clarinetist Garrick Zoeter is the Anna Lee Van Buren Professor of Clarinet at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University. He is also a founding member of the MSCO. Holding degrees from both the Julliard School of Music and Yale University, he is widely recorded and highly in demand as a freelance musician.

Tickets are on sale on the MSCO website: under 18 are admitted free.