Musica Viva will present its third free-admission classical music concert – its second of 2019 – at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. The approximately 650 people who attended the June 23 performance can attest to the quality of the musicians and the outdoor setting. This one will feature more than twice as many professional musicians as well as a lovely new locale: the verdant lawn of the Kentlands Clubhouse in Gaithersburg.
Maestro Simeone Tartaglione and Pompiliu Verzariu, chair of the group’s organizing committee, initiated the series in 2018. Both Kentlands residents continue to make progress in their goal: “to enhance classical music appreciation for attendees of all ages … (especially) classical music fans who are unable to attend such performances at venues like the Kennedy Center because of the cost of tickets, distance or other limitations,” Verzariu said.
Tartaglione, who leads orchestras in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, invited about 35 musicians, members of local orchestras and chamber music players, to perform. “This concert with a full Musica Viva orchestra is a milestone for our project,” he said.
After playing the National Anthem, the musicians will play “The Beethoven Symphony No. 7 [Op. 92: Poco sostenuto – vivace; Allegretto, Presto, Allegro con brio], which he noted, “is one of the most loved and exciting of them all. Its joy and rhythmic energy are contagious.”
Next on the program, “Italiana in Algeri, Overture,” said the Maestro, “is one of the most famous of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini’s overtures, spirited and full of contrast and humor.” He said it serves as “a perfect introduction” to his wife virtuoso violinist Alessandra Cuffaro’s solo, “Sarasate Zigeunerweisen Op.20 (Gipsy Airs),” which he considers “a favorite of violinists … [the] piece starts very romantic and thoughtful and ends with the fireworks of a super-fast czardas [a Hungarian dance with a slow introduction and a fast, wild finish].”
German composer Johannes Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No.1” will follow. “The Brahms dance is a way to leave the Slavic world and come back to symphonic repertoire (while) still staying on the light energetic fun side of orchestra playing,” Tartaglione explained.
Two short, light pieces – “The Syncopated Clock” and “The Waltzing Cat” — by American composer Leroy Anderson will close the concert. “The Anderson pieces are two of his most popular and loved orchestral pops — for which audience help will be needed,” he said.
Tartaglione is pleased with Musica Viva’s progress. “It’s really impressive how far and how quickly we are able to present such a full stage with so many more players,” he said. “This is proof that classical orchestral music is alive and available to everyone to have fun in a relaxed environment.”
“And Kentlands and Lakelands are a perfect location for such a gem to flourish,” he added, suggesting that 2020 might feature a third concert, this one in the Lakelands. “Orchestral size depends on a successful sponsorship and contribution campaign in 2020.” Current sponsoring groups include the Kentlands Community Foundation, Kentlands Citizens Assembly, the Angell Foundation and Asbury Methodist Village.
As for Sept. 7, the Maestro said, “I hope to see back all the 650 people we had at our last concert plus a few more hundred to fill the beautiful clubhouse lawn.”
Businesses and individuals may contribute to Musica Viva by visiting the Kentlands Community Foundation website and clicking ‘donate now’ or by mailing a check payable to the Kentlands Community Foundation, 267 Kentlands Blvd. Box 200, Gaithersburg MD 20878.