Event: Mozart by Candlelight
Date: Saturday, 11 November, 2023
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
Principal Flute Tiana Grisé performs Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1 before the HSO launches into Prokofiev’s playful Classical Symphony.
Mozart’s iconic Symphony No. 40 weaves turbulence and passion – all by candlelight. Mozart by Candlelight is presented thanks to Montana Internet, Boxwoods Fine Homes & Lifestyles, and the DoubleTree by Hilton Helena!
A native Montanan, Dr. Tiana Grisé has spent much of her life working, playing and teaching in the Northwest. After four years as the flute instructor at Idaho State University, she and her husband accepted full assistantships in the doctoral program at James Madison University, where Tiana completed a D.M.A. in flute performance, pedagogy and literature with Beth Chandler. In addition, she holds a Master of Music degree from Oklahoma State University where she studied with Jonathan Keeble and a Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Montana, where she studied with Margaret Schuberg. Tiana has received numerous awards and accolades for her playing and teaching, and was a two-time recipient of the Idaho State University Honors College Influential Educator Award.
Tiana moved to Moorhead, MN in 2012, where she taught flute and theory at Minnesota State University and served as Executive Director for one of the largest youth symphony programs in the upper Midwest: the Fargo Moorhead Area Youth Symphonies. While in Minnesota, she was highly sought as a performer and educator, receiving stunning accolades for her solo project “Awash in Sound” in late 2019.
In the fall of 2020, Tiana moved back home to Missoula and was invited to serve as the Helena Symphony Orchestra’s Acting Principal Flute during their unprecedented 2020/21 season. She subsequently won the permanent position as Principal Flute beginning in August 2021.
Dr. Grisé currently resides in her hometown of Missoula with her family, where she maintains a full flute studio of students from around the country.
FLUTE CONCERTO NO. 1
Yearning to get rid of the shackles of his employer in Salzburg – the Archbishop Colloredo, Mozart toured Paris and Mannheim in 1777-1778 where he found new inspiration for several works, including his Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola solos. While in Mannheim he met the respected doctor and amateur flautist, Ferdinand Dejean. The affluent Dutchman commissioned Mozart to write “three modest, simple, and short concertos and a couple of quartets for the flute,” Mozart wrote to his father. While the details are not clear, Dejean and Mozart clearly had a disagreement about the terms. Mozart did not get the entire fee, and Dejean did not get all the music as promised. Two flute concertos were composed, but the second of which was arrangement of Mozart’s oboe concerto adapted for flute. Mozart typically had copies of the music made for the performers and the person commissioning the work, keeping his original manuscript; however, no autograph score of the Flute Concerto No. 1 exists (perhaps given to Dejean?).
“The rhythm and melodic line immediately establish the quintessential Mozart stately nobility combined with virtuosic playfulness,” explains Maestro Scott. “The flute solo plays almost nonstop from the very beginning, leaping from high to low registers, and therefore requires excellent breath control. Mozart gives the pairs of horns some lovely interjections, and the flute performs a cadenza to flex its musical greatness before the first movement closes.”
“The second movement immediately displays Mozart’s brilliance as an opera composer,” says Maestro Scott. “The flute solo sings as exquisitely as any soprano, making the central movement the heart of the entire Concerto. Elegance and vitality shimmer in the final movement and Mozart seems to have endless and effortless musical variations for the flute. The charm of the First Flute Concerto is undeniable, and it reminds us that besides his piano concertos, violin concertos, and clarinet concerto that overshadow the more intimate works for flute, oboe, and bassoon, Mozart never ceases to be prolific and inventive.”
SYMPHONY NO. 40
By the time Mozart composed his Symphony No. 40, his compositional powers were far greater than his youthful attempts. Looking forward, Mozart was often altering the standard practices of compositional technique. Symphony No. 40 drastically breaks from tradition as the work opens with the viola accompaniment beginning on a strong beat and the hauntingly airy melody on the offbeat. The melody never develops into a traditional main theme; rather it is a series of “musical sighs” that allows the suspense to linger over a thin and insecure foundation.
This uncertainty is maintained in the second movement as well, as a series of layering phrases on top of another creates a harmonic tapestry, yet seemingly without firm melodic direction. In fact, Mozart never affirms any melody in the movement other than the phrases that continually interrupt one another to serve as the function of melodies.
“While a firm melodic foundation controls the third movement, Mozart offers more substance to the traditional superficial minuet using an asymmetrical thematic structure, ascending melody, and the interweaving until the movement peacefully ends,” notes Maestro Scott. “The whirling motif that opens the final movement was called a “rocket” in Mozart’s day, due to the tension created by the contrast between the ascending melodic line and a descending turning figure. Tension and suspense prevail as the two main themes of the ending seem to battle for dominance, thereby bringing the work full circle.”
Other Season 69 highlights coming up in 2024 includes Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, the return of renowned Cellist Amit Peled performing Dvorák, and a tale of love and betrayal with Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana! Season 69 also includes several free Symphony Kids Concerts and a black-tie Masquerade!
Season tickets for the remaining concerts of the Masterworks Series presented by AARP Montana are available at a reduced rate. In addition to the substantial discounts on season tickets, subscribers also receive the Bring A Friend Pass, The Art of Listening Newsletter, and several other benefits. Single concert tickets can also be purchased online at www.helenasymphony.org, by calling the Symphony Box Office (406.442.1860), or visiting the Symphony Box Office located on the Walking Mall at the Placer Building (21 N. Last Chance Gulch, Suite 100) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
See below for Season concert listing.
Maestro Scott and guest artists are available for interviews by contacting
the Symphony at 406.442.1860 or [email protected]