“Technicolor” Music Lecture Series at LSC


October 23, 2012

Music composers are inspired to write for a number of reasons whether love, or revenge, or money. Professor William Cotte presents a lecture series at Lyndon State College where the impetus for the music was the composer’s expression of the four seasons. Cotte’s lectures will go far beyond the Vivaldi classic “The Four Seasons.”


Joseph Haydn wrote the oratorio “The Seasons” largely because his previous work “The Creation” was becoming increasingly popular. The libretto is James Thomson’s poem “The Seasons” translated into German. It is a beautiful, stunning piece but never found the success of his previous works.


When Igor Stravinsky’s avant-garde ballet “Le Sacre du Printemps” (The Rite of Spring) was first performed, the ultramodern character of the music and choreography nearly led the audience to riot. It has subsequently become one of the most recorded and most influential of all 20th century musical works. Stravinsky described the work as, “[representing] pagan Russia … unified by a single idea: the mystery and great surge of the creative power of Spring.”


The four movements in Charles Ives’ “A Symphony: New England Holidays” took more than sixteen years to write. The movements, Washington’s Birthday, Decoration Day, The Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving, coincide with each season.


Cotte will also discuss Schumann’s “Spring” symphony, Aaron Copland’s Pulitzer-winning ballet “Appalachian Spring,” and many other works. The 7 p.m. lectures are on consecutive Mondays, October 29, November 5, and November 12, in the Burke Mountain Room of Lyndon State College’s Samuel Read Hall Library building. The lecture is free and open to the public and is presented as part of the College’s Lecture and Arts Series. The series is made possible, in part, by the Harriett M. Sherman Lecture Fund.

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