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Bill Cotte’s Music Lecture Series Returns to Lyndon State

Bill Cotte’s Music Lecture Series Returns to Lyndon State


April 8, 2013

Music composers are inspired to write for a number of reasons whether love, or revenge, or money. Lyndon State College Lecturer in Music William Cotte will be presenting a free lecture series at the College this spring where the impetus for the music was the composer’s expression of the four seasons. Cotte’s lectures will go far beyond the Vivaldi classic “The Four Seasons.” The next three presentations in his series look at the themes of spring and summer.

Joseph Haydn wrote the oratorio “The Seasons” largely because his previous work “The Creation” was becoming so popular. The libretto is James Thomson’s poem “The Seasons” translated into German. It is a beautiful, stunning piece but never found the success of his previous works.

When Igor Stravinsky’s avant-garde ballet “Le Sacre du Printemps” (The Rite of Spring) was first performed, the ultramodern character of the music and choreography nearly led the audience to riot. It has subsequently become one of the most recorded and most influential of all 20th century musical works. Stravinsky described the work as, “[representing] pagan Russia … unified by a single idea: the mystery and great surge of the creative power of Spring.”

The four movements in Charles Ives’ “A Symphony: New England Holidays” took more than sixteen years to write. The movements, Washington’s Birthday, Decoration Day, The Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving, coincide with each season.

Cotte will also discuss Schumann’s “Spring” symphony (No.1 in B flat major), Aaron Copland’s Pulitzer-winning ballet “Appalachian Spring,” and many other works. The 7 p.m. lectures are on consecutive Mondays, April 22, 29, and May 6 in the Burke Mountain Room on top floor of Lyndon State College’s Samuel Read Hall Library and Academic Center. The talks are free and open to the public. Cotte’s spirited and entertaining lectures can be enjoyed both as part of the series or individually.