Plainfield Symphony’s 96th December Concert:

“Happy New Year from Vienna”


The next Plainfield Symphony Orchestra concert will take place on December 12, 2015 at 7pm. Come celebrate an early New Year with Maestro Charles Prince in a program entitled “Happy New Year from Vienna”. You will enjoy some of the timeless, intoxicating baubles that are the Viennese waltzes and polkas of Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar, experience Ravel’s joyous interpretation of these Viennese dances in La Valse and be treated to a performance of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Fantasy for Piano with soloist Brianna Tang. Adrian Mapp, Mayor of Plainfield, will also be joining Charles Prince as our special Guest Conductor.

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Johann Strauss Jr. (1825-1899), “The Waltz King,” was the best-known member of his famous family, all of whom wrote music that captured the spirit of Vienna. Strauss composed operettas (Die Fledermaus, A Night in Venice) but of his nearly 500 compositions, the most popular are his concert waltzes that show his gift as a writer of melodies and his brilliance as an orchestrator. The Die Fledermaus Overture, Tales from the Vienna Woods Waltz, Pizzicato Polka, Thunder and Lightning Polka (Unter Donner ud Blitz) and the Emperor Waltz will be presented.


Franz Lehár (1870-1948) was an Austro-Hungarian composer mainly known for his operettas, of which the most successful and best known is The Merry Widow. Lehar composed the Gold and Silver Waltz in 1902 for the Princess Metternich-Sandor’s “Guld-und-Silber” ball and is included on our program.


La Valse is a choreographic poem for orchestra written by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). It was conceived as a ballet but is now more often heard as a concert work described as a tribute to the waltz. Ravel denied that it is a reflection of post-World War I Europe, saying: “This dance may seem tragic, like any other emotion... pushed to the extreme. But one should only see in it what the music expresses: an ascending progression of sonority, to which the stage comes along to add light and movement."


Returning to the PSO as piano soloist in Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Fantasy for Piano is YPCNJ Medalist Brianna Tang. The Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies, commonly known as the Hungarian Fantasy, is Liszt's (1811-1886) arrangement for piano and orchestra of his Hungarian Rhapsody No. 14, originally for solo piano. Noted for her “impressive and excellent performances displaying many colors and dynamics”, Brianna has been studying under the tutelage of Yelena Ivanov since 2005. She is the recipient of numerous scholarships and is a prizewinner in a variety of local and international competitions.

The Plainfield Symphony is New Jersey's oldest community symphony and the third oldest in the country. Tickets maybe purchased on our website and may also be purchased at the concert. Concerts are held at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church located at 716 Watchung Ave, Plainfield NJ and begin at 7 pm.