UF Symphony Orchestra sets 100 years to rest with Friday the 13th concert
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The UF Symphony Orchestra concert, conducted by Raymond Chobaz, will celebrate the close of the 100th anniversary season at 7:30 p.m. today in University Auditorium.
University of Florida students can attend for free, and tickets are $10 for the public or $8 for UF faculty and staff, seniors and non-UF students. Tickets are available on ticketmaster.com or by calling 352-392-2787.
To celebrate Friday the 13th, the orchestra will perform pieces incorporating the famous 13th-century sequence “Dies Irae,” or Day of Wrath, used in the medieval Requeim Mass, vividly describing the Day of Judgment.
The first piece, Sergei Rachmaninov’s “The Isle of the Dead,” was inspired by the gloomily atmospheric painting of same name by Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin. In 1909, at the time of the work’s conception, Rachmaninov found himself at a crossing in his life that felt like an “ocean of eternity and loneliness.” Thus he gave us this musical image of his own life with the notion of death in which hope and a relatable fear are mixed.
The second piece, Franz Liszt’s “Totentanz,” was inspired by a series of woodcuts of the same name by Hans Holbein the Younger. The idea of the equality of all in the face of death — a subject which, for a very long time, preoccupied medieval Europe.
The last piece, a funeral march, will bring the orchestra’s first 100 years solemnly to rest. Gustav Mahler was inspired by a dramatic epic titled “Totenfeier” by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz. This initially independent and heroic march will eventually serve as the first movement of a new symphony, Resurrection, which concludes with Friedrich Klopstock’s assuring words: “Rise again, yea, thou shalt rise again.”