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PSO March 16, 2024 "Just Strings"

Contact: Mark Miller (908-561-5140)

“Just Strings” is the theme for the March 16, 2024 concert at 7 pm. Maestro Charles Prince will lead our talented PSO string ensemble in a rich and varied representation of strings-only orchestral literature.


Juan Bautista Plaza (1898-1965) is considered to be one of the foremost Venezuelan composers of his time and he incorporated nationalistic styles of his home country alongside “classical” European genres. He was also a leading figure in Venezuelan music education and musicology. One of his first major works integrating these forms was the Fuga Criolla (1931) which incorporates popular Venezuelan songs and dances into the fugue form.


Ralph Vaughan Williams’s (1872-1958) Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis is a work for double string orchestra and a separate string quartet, based on a melody by the 16th-century composer Thomas Tallis. The tune is from a setting of Psalm 2 that Tallis wrote in 1567. “The piece is structured with an introduction, opening statement of the themes (Tallis’ original hymn melody broken up into its four constituent phrases and interspersed with a “swaying chord” motif), four episodes (exploring different variations of those themes and different voicings across the three ensembles), and then a restatement of the themes and a coda.”


Metamorphosen (“A Study for 23 Solo Strings”) by Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was composed during the closing months of World War II. This single movement work opens with a somber Adagio section. The mood lightens considerably in the extended central section before plunging back into the Adagio to close with a quotation from the Funeral March from Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony, beneath which Strauss added two words on the final page of his autograph score: “In memoriam!” The piece could be said to constitute the composer’s epitaph to the destruction of Germany and its culture.


Join us for this wonderful opportunity to hear the varied textures and sounds of the PSO strings in three diverse and important works from the string orchestral repertoire.


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