Cape Symphony presents The Romantics in January 2023

“The Romantics” Show Notes

The Cape Symphony presents The Romantics on Saturday, January 21 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, January 22 at 3:00 PM at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center.

Guest Artists

Ying Li, Piano
Cape Symphony Horn Section

Download a printable version of the Show Notes.

Table of Contents


About Today's Program

Enjoy “The Romantics”


Robert Schumann

  1. Lively
  2. Sentimental and expressive
  3. Very lively

Johannes Brahms


Franz Liszt

  1. Fast and majestic
  2. Somewhat slow
  3. Moderately fast and lively – Fast and animated
  4. Fast in an animated march style

Richard Wagner

Back To Top

About Today’s Program

During the Romantic period in music, composers became superstars. Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, and Robert Schumann revolutionized the art of live performance, seducing audiences with their unbridled talent and charisma. These four giants of the Romantic period were more daring and emotional in their work than anyone before them. We’re excited to bring you the work of these rock star composers!

Composer Robert Schumann was inspired by the legacy of Beethoven. His Konzertstück (Concert Piece) for Four Horns and Orchestra is rarely performed because it requires four excellent French horns. Our French horn players, Clark Matthews, Principal, Emily Buehler, Dave Rufino, and Neil Godwin, will take center stage to play the heroic hunting motifs of this exciting piece.

Johannes Brahms wrote pure music with elegant style. When he was informed that he would receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Breslau, he wrote the Academic Festival Overture for the commencement ceremony. Apparently, he originally planned to write a simple thank-you note, but the conductor who had nominated him for the honor told him he was expected to write a piece of music! In this tuneful, optimistic overture, Brahms used university student songs – what today we would call a mashup – to create a humorous yet complex and colorful work.

The fiery Franz Liszt was the Lady Gaga of his time, curating his look and personality for his audience, and taking advantage of the new technology - photographs. He lived extravagantly and wrote music that was unplayable by most people other than himself. Liszt truly embodied the rock star image of the Romantic era.

Richard Wagner was a larger than life persona, known for his celebrity and controversy, and his powerful vision for opera changed the form. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Master-Singer from Nuremberg) is one of his masterpieces, and the comic opera’s uplifting tone made it immediately popular. The story takes place in the German city of Nuremberg in the 1500s, and focuses on the city’s guild of master singers. Wagner was inspired by a book about the history of German poetry, which included details of the master singers and in particular, Hans Sach, the most famous master singer. This is Wagner’s only opera that is based in history and not in myth or legend. The Prelude contains the key motifs of the opera.

During the concert, Jung-Ho Pak will recognize the nearly 40-year service of Stuart Gunn, Principal Tuba, who is retiring from the orchestra. Stu joined the Cape Symphony in 1985 as a substitute player under Royston Nash and eventually saw the tuba position elevated to a principal player. Download and read Stu’s reflections on his time with the Cape Symphony.

Back To Top

Enjoy “The Romantics”

Join the Cape Symphony for The Romantics on Saturday, January 21 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, January 22 at 3:00 PM at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, 744 West Main Street, Hyannis MA 02601. To purchase tickets for The Romantics, visit, call the Box Office at 508-362-1111, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit 2235 Iyannough Road in West Barnstable, MA.

Back To Top

With thanks to Wikipedia.

Find a class

The Cape Symphony offers classes in music and dance for students of all ages!

view now

our wonderful partners

Click here to become a sponsor!