Composer/performer set for two classical performances this weekend

Photo by Donna Olswing
Robert Patterson solos Saturday with Memphis Repertory Orchestra, then conducts one of his works Monday with Luna Nova Music.

Photo by Donna Olswing Robert Patterson solos Saturday with Memphis Repertory Orchestra, then conducts one of his works Monday with Luna Nova Music.

About the Concerts

Memphis Repertory Orchestra Concert

8 p.m. Saturday at Lindenwood Christian Church, 2400 Union Ave. Admission is free. Call 901-493-8354 or go to memphisreporchestra.com

Luna Nova Music Concert

7:30 p.m. Monday at Hardie Auditorium at Rhodes College, 2000 N. Parkway. Admission is free and a reception will follow. Call 901-493-0958 or go to lunanova.org.

Robert G. Patterson was contemplating the old saw about time existing so it could keep everything from happening at once.

"It broke down for this coming weekend," says the composer and horn player who is juggling two very different performances.

"I have a big composition with Luna Nova and my head is in that," Patterson says, "as well as with my solo with the Memphis Repertory Orchestra."

Patterson the horn player will be performing Saturday with the Memphis Repoertory, a two-year old organization founded by William Langley. A featured piece is Richard Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1, one of the composer's best known works and a standard of the modern horn repertoire.

Then Monday, Luna Nova Music is presenting a concert that includes Patterson conducting his own work, "Mountain Paths: Eight Meditations on Poems by Izumi Shikibu."

The Luna Nova concert is dedicated to Patterson's mother, Jane McAtee Patterson, and is inspired by the literature and music of Japan. Patterson was impressed by the works of Shikibu, who was born about 976 AD and remains a celebrated poet.

"I see it as a cycle about life and death," Patterson says, describing the performance as reading each of the eight poems in Japanese, then in English and then with a musician meditation. The narrators are Seiko Igararshi and Ann Sharp.

As for his solo Saturday with the Memphis Repertory, Patterson says Strauss' first horn concert was created when the composer was quite young. "It's very forward looking, and there's a lot of Mendelssohn in the piece."

Patterson won't be performing Strauss' second horn concerto, but he noted how it connects with the first. It was written near the end of the composer's life and it was, Patterson says, backward looking — a mirror image of the first work. "Strauss was 80 and wrote it during World War II. He felt like the world he knew and loved was gone, so he was evoking memories."

© 2013 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.