*Minneapolis: Southwest Minnesota Orchestra- Fall Concert--Composing under Adversity***The Great Composers' Struggle with Disabilities

04nov7:30 pm9:30 pm*Minneapolis: Southwest Minnesota Orchestra- Fall Concert--Composing under Adversity***The Great Composers' Struggle with Disabilities

Photograph of conductor and orchestra


St. Mark's Cathedral, 519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis, MN 55403

519 Oak Grove Street


(Saturday) 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm(GMT-05:00)

Event Details

Project Name: Fall Concert–Composing under Adversity***The Great Composers’ Struggle with Disabilities:

SMO’s Fall Concert features a program that explores the struggle that classical composers have dealt with regarding both physical and mental disabilities. Bedrich Smetana, often referred to as the “father of Czech music” was a tireless promoter of his natal land, Bohemia (soon to be made a province within the later Slavic Czech country). However, later in life, after a most energetic career in Sweden and other adventures, he developed both tinnitus and eventually deafness in both ears. He later had to be institutionalized a few months before he died, due to violent mood swings and incoherent speech.

Robert Schumann was a prolific composer who later in mid-life succumbed to a combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia; his struggles with these maladies were most dramatically exhibited when he threw himself into the Rhine River, resulting in an incarceration in a sanatorium (a kind of asylum) for nearly two years before he died of pneumonia at the age of 46.

Franz Schubert sometime during the summer of 1822 contracted syphilis, a very common but not necessarily fatal disease in early 19th-century Vienna. However, due to his relative poverty that resulted in belated and unsuccessful half-measures from the limited medical personnel he could utilize, his case developed steadily and fatally, until dying at the tragically early age of 31, greatly curtailing the early stages of what would have been yet even more brilliant career.

Ludwig van Beethoven, most famously, began to lose his hearing shortly after relocating to Vienna and by 1815 was all but deaf. Yet his late period works (from 1822 onwards) were some of the most radical in scope ever attempted until the breakdown of tonality, somewhere between Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg, nearly a century later.

These concerts mark the 25th anniversary of Dr. Daniel Rieppel’s music directorship of the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra (the Nov. 4th concert falls within a few days of the 1st concert directed by Dr. Rieppel a quarter century ago). Our repertoire for these concerts will differ slightly: Smetana’s ultra-famous tone poem “The Moldau”, Schumann’s stern 4th mvt from his “Rhennish” Symphony and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy (this piece will also feature members of the Prairie Arts Chorale and the Concert Choir from University of Minnesota, Morris),will comprise the first half, concluding with Schubert’s 9th Symphony. On the Minneapolis concert, the repertoire will change slightly–Dr. Rieppel’s own transcription of Schubert’s Lebensstürme for piano and strings, Robert Butler Whitcomb’s “Ear Abounding-Ode to Music”, the Beethoven Choral Fantasy and finishing with the Symphony #9 “The Great” also by Franz Schubert.

These two concerts represent a fine pinnacle to the quarter century of music making that Dr. Rieppel and SMO have created together–the Schubert works represent Dr. Rieppel’s decades-long involvement with the composer; and the Whitcomb composition shows the artistic legacy that Whitcomb and Rieppel, among many other colleagues, represent at SMSU in Marshall.

Public Events:
 Radio interview at KMHL the week before the 10.22 concert

Sunday, October 22, 2023

4:00 PM

Schwan Community Center for the Performing Arts, 400 Tiger Drive, Marshall, MN 56258

Saturday, November 4, 2023

7:30 PM

St. Mark’s Cathedral, 519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis, MN 55403

“This activity is funded, in part, by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council through an appropriation from the MN State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.”


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