Christmas Music

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‘Tis the Season…

For many of us, one of the highlights of the Christmas period is the joyous seasonal music. Mosman residents are spoilt for choice this year, with a feast of Christmas music and carols performed locally.

Mosman Symphony Chorus & Orchestra:  Mass For Christmas
Sunday Dec 8th at 2.30 pm.
Mosman Art Gallery

Join the orchestra and choir in our final concert for the year. As well as Charpentier’s delightful Messe de Minuit, you’ll hear chamber music presented by players from the orchestra, carols from the choir and orchestra, as well as some carols for the audience to sing. The choir will be preparing a scrumptious afternoon tea to celebrate the season.  Bookings available now.

Mosman Christmas Lights Party
Sunday, 15th  December from 7pm till 8.30pm
Prince Albert St, Mosman

Players from Mosman Symphony Orchestra will also be performing at the Mosman Christmas Lights Party. You can stroll along the street, enjoying the many houses on Prince Albert St that are lit up with Christmas lights (the street is closed to traffic).
Visitors enjoy ice-cream, pizza, sausage sizzles and more, along with music, photos with Santa and craft and cake stalls hosted by the children on the street and community clubs. The street party is now in its 5th year with support from Mosman Council, Mosman and North Sydney SES, Mosman Lions, Mosman Rotary, Taronga Zoo, local sporting clubs and businesses.

Manly Warringah Choir: A Classic Christmas
Saturday 30th November at 7.30 pm
Sunday 1st December at 4.00 pm
Cardinal Cerretti Chapel, Darley Road, Manly

Our friends at Manly Warringah Choir will be presenting Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, extracts from Handel’s Messiah, and Christmas carols for choir and audience, conducted by Carlos Alvarado. Click here for poster

Mosman Musical Society: A Christmas Concert
22nd December at 2.30
Sacred Heart Church Hall, 23 Cardinal Street, Mosman

A concert celebrating the joy of Christmas performed by the choristers of Mosman Musical Society and the Gagliano Ensemble directed by Dr Jim Coyle.

Town Hall Messiah
Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th December at 3pm

A bit farther afield, at Sydney Town Hall, you can catch our conductor Andrew Del Riccio, whose Trumpet Shall Sound! This is a wonderful experience with a massed combined choir, terrific young soloists, and a great orchestra, conducted by the ebullient Tim Chung. Click here for website

 

Meet Edward Walton

Edward Walton in rehearsal with the orchestra at Mosman Art Gallery

Rising young star of the violin, Edward Walton will perform at Mosman Art Gallery with the Mosman Symphony Orchestra on June 1st and 2nd. The players are really enjoying rehearsals with this inspiring young man, although some have been heard to wonder what they have been doing with all the time they have spent on this planet!

Aged only 13, Edward has already appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras in Australia and overseas, including the Czech Republic, Italy and the USA.  and he has won many highly prestigious international prizes, competing against older musicians, with a win in London resulting in an invitation to perform at the Royal Albert Hall.

At Mosman Art Gallery Edward will perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, a passionate, virtuosic work that is known and loved by audiences all over the world.

We had a chat with Ted about the concerto.

‘For as long as I can remember the Tchaikovsky violin concerto has been one of my favourite pieces. It is such a great masterpiece and has such beautiful melodies, which then contrast with the last movement which has such energy and is thrilling to play!’ said Edward.

Despite the difficulties of the piece, Edward sees it as fun.

‘I just love the piece so much and was so eager to play it that I never really thought about it as being challenging. I do enjoy playing the fast runs – even though they are pretty challenging and keeping the fun and energy in the stroke in the last movement.’

For this concert, Edward has the loan of a very special violin:

I am so excited about the violin I will be playing on for the concert. It is a Gagliano, kindly on short term loan from Beares London for a competition I am in which takes place in July. It has such a lovely sound – I just wish it was mine forever!’

Edward is grateful for the opportunity to play with the Mosman Symphony Orchestra:

‘It is such an amazing opportunity for me to play this piece with orchestra as the orchestra makes it sound so much more exciting. It is how Tchaikovsky envisaged it would be played and it is great how in the 3rd movement for example the orchestra and soloist can bounce off each other’s energy when they pass the melody back and forth. It is also wonderful to play with other people who love and appreciate music as much as I do. So, I am so grateful to Mosman Symphony for this opportunity!’

The future’s looking bright for Edward, with engagements next year to play with orchestras in Italy and the US.

‘I really hope that I can continue to learn and improve my playing and gain more solo experiences with Orchestra.’ He says. ‘In the future I can only dream that one day I can become a professional violinist, own a great instrument and share my music with the world, but I also really hope that I will be in a position to give back something to those who have helped me along the way, like the wonderful orchestras who have given me an opportunity to perform in such a supportive environment.’

Mosman Symphony Orchestra musical director, Andrew Del Riccio says that it is an absolute delight to work with Edward, who approaches the iconic concerto with consummate musicianship and rigour.

‘My first experience of Ted’s playing was hearing his Bruch violin concerto. I was amazed at not only his technical ability and ease of playing, but also his musicality and wonderful sound. While we have spoken about the Tchaikovsky concerto at length only via Skype, it is clear he is a musician of great passion, maturity and with a natural flair for dramatic performance. I am almost jumping up and down in anticipation of our concerts in June 1 and 2. It will be an event not to miss!’

Andrew said that while tickets will be available at the door, recent performances by the orchestra have sold out early, and he advises people to book online through the orchestra’s website.

 

 

By Jupiter!

By Jove, what a wonderful weekend of music we have had! The players really appreciated so many people coming to support he orchestra despite the wild weather. Soloists Bridget Bolliger and Rachel Tolmie inspired us all with their consummate musicianship, and players and audience alike thrilled to Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony with its astonishing, climactic finale.

It was great to have a big crowd to give musical director Andrew Del Riccio his well deserved applause as he celebrated 21 years as the conductor of Mosman Symphony Orchestra. Orchestra President Bridget Wilcken presented Andrew with a crystal trophy and a fine bottle of wine. (For those of you who are wondering what was in the mysterious blue package on Sunday, it was Andrew’s beloved Tim Tams – a little extra present from the orchestra.)

Our move from Friday to Saturday evenings was well supported with a bigger than usual evening audience. Some people commented that they’d taken the chance to dine in nearby restaurants before the concert. Sunday was sold out.

There were 2 comments in our Guest Book –  one from a loyal audience member who has watched the orchestra grow; the other a first timer, for whom we hope the concert will be the first of many:

I have enjoyed the orchestra for 20 years. It continues to be wonderful each performance. Many originals are so passionate about the music, each enjoying their chosen instrument, Mark with viola, all the cellos, oboes, flutes…. Congratulations and well done. Marlene R.

Our first time listening to Mosman Symphony Orchestra – enjoyed it so much. Beautiful music and atmosphere! We’ll be back to listen to more. Thank you. William B.

Magnificat!

This December, audiences in Sydney’s north will have the chance to hear two very different settings of the Magnificat. On December 2nd and 3rd, Manly Warringah Choir will perform J.S. Bach’s version and the following week, Mosman Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform the setting written by Durante, but more often attributed to Pergolesi.

Our musical director, Andrew Del Riccio will be involved in both performances, playing trumpet at the Manly concert, and conducting the concert at Mosman.

The Magnificat, also known as the Canticle of Mary, is particularly appropriate for the Advent season. The text comes from the Gospel of Luke (1:46–55) where it is spoken by Mary when she visits  her cousin Elizabeth. The virgin Mary has been told by the angel Gabriel that she is going to have a child who will be the Son of God. When she asks how this could happen, the angel tells her she will be visited by the Holy Spirit so that the child’s conception will be divine. The angel gives proof that nothing is impossible by telling her that her cousin Elizabeth, who is old and past child bearing age is also pregnant. So according Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, and when Mary greets her, Elizabeth feels the baby (who is to become John the Baptists)  move. Elizabeth praises Mary for her faith  and Mary responds with what is now known as the Magnificat.

My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in  God my saviour
For he has looked on the humility of his handmaiden
And behold, from henceforth all generations will call me blessed
For he who is mighty has magnified me and holy is his name
And his mercy is on those that fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown the strength in his arm
He has scattered the proud in the arrogance of their hearts
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly
The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich sent away empty.
As he promised our fathers, Abraham and his descendants forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now, and always will be, forever and ever. Amen.

And for any Latin scholars out there:

Magnificat anima mea dominum
Et exultavit spiritus meus in deo salutari meo
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae
ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est, et sanctum nomen eius
Et misericordia eius a progenie in progenies timentibus eum
Fecit potentiam brachio suo
Dispersit superbos mente cordis sui
Deposuit potentes de sede,et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum recordatus misericordiae suae
Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros Abraham et semeni eius in saecula
Gloria patri, et filio, et spiritui sancto sicut erat in principio,
Et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen

Kim d’Espiney World Premiere

Many of you will remember that last year Mosman Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere performance of Danza Arabica by Kim d’Espiney, who also plays oboe in the orchestra. That piece was characterised by sorrowful Moorish style melodies contrasting with vibrant energetic dance rhythms and was received with great enthusiasm by both orchestra and audience.

On Sunday June 4 the Bourbaki Ensemble, conducted by David Angel will premiere a new piece by Kim. Con Fuoco, composed for strings, brass and percussion, will be the finale of a concert that also features Rachel Tolmie as cor anglais soloist in Richard Percival’s Sicilienne and Alan Ridout’s Concertino as well as works by Sibelius, Bartok and Vaughan Williams.

The concert will be at 2.45 at St Stephen’s, Newtown.  I’m sure Kim would appreciate some friendly faces in the audience. Could there  be a better way of spending  a sparkling Sunday afternoon than in the company of exciting new music, with the coffee shops of Newtown beckoning for afters?

Choral Music in Sydney’s North

Our fledgling choir, Mosman Symphony Chorus, is up and running, with rehearsals already beginning for our June concert when they will join the orchestra for a performance of Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G. By all accounts the small, but very enthusiastic group is having a ball at Monday night rehearsals, with the joy of singing being augmented by the bliss of Rufina’s baking at supper. They would warmly welcome new members of all voice types.

In the meantime our friends at Manly Warringah Choir will be performing Brahms’ German Requiem at the Cardinal Cerruti Chapel in Manly on Saturday May 6th at 7.30pm. This will be their last performance in Australia before heading to Carnegie Hall to perform the same work with choirs from all over the world at the invitation of Distinguished Choirs International New York, DCINY.

The Manly concert will be conducted by the wonderful Carlos Alvarado, who  conducted our Movies concert last year. There will be 2 outstanding soloists in Anita Kyle and David Greco. It would be great if we could support our fellow musicians by attending what promises to be an inspiring performance.

Bookings: www.manlywarringahchoir.org.au  or phone 9953 2443  or  0432 656 798

MWChoir_A4Poster

 

The Mystery of the Missing Guest Book

guestbook1

What a wonderful concert series we’ve just had! From the stirring brass in Wagner’s Tannhäuser to the golden honeyed sound of trumpet virtuoso, John Foster, finishing with magnificent playing from the whole orchestra in Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Our audience was full of praise and appreciation. Sadly our guest book went missing over the weekend. We’re hoping that it will find its way back to the Art Gallery, but in the meantime we’ve received this by email:

TRUMPETS WILL SOUND
Friday, 17th March 2017

The Mosman Symphony Orchestra drew a full audience to the Art Gallery last Friday evening with a program that was certain to thrill.

The ever-popular “Tannhäuser Overture” composed by Richard Wagner in 1845 proved a treat, as the orchestra captured the complex nuances of this beautiful piece that attracted so much controversy around its premier performances.

John Foster must be proud of his playing, as I was spell-bound. The Rococo “Trumpet Concerto in E-flat” by Johann Baptist Georg Neruda embraces the finest silk-like brass textures, and I wallowed in the seductive interpretation.

The Beethoven 7th Symphony brought the orchestra to life, and the audience to its feet after raising us to the heights of musical colour – so prevalant in this devilish composer. Once again controversy reigns with this work – but so what! It’s a masterpiece unfolding meaning and beauty into our vibrant world of fine Art-Music.

Well done MoSO. See you at the next concert.

Edward.

John Foster Trumpet Virtuoso

With just one more sleep till our first concert of the year, audiences at the Mosman Art Gallery should prepare to be blown away by Baroque trumpet virtuoso, John Foster who will be our soloist, performing the Neruda Trumpet Concerto.

John is one of the world’s foremost exponents of the natural trumpet. He has toured all over the world performing as soloist with leading orchestras in Europe and America. He has made several solo recordings, published 2 books, and is also much sought after as a teacher. He is the director of the Australasian Trumpet Academy, which draws artists from across the world to Australia.

John’s passion for his instrument has led him to amass a collection of over 100 trumpets from many different periods of history. There is a dedicated room in his house where he displays most of the collection in glass cases, but John says the collection has a tendency to spread all through the house.

We regularly have visitors from all over the world who come to see the trumpets’, says John, ‘much to my wife’s chagrin.’

The collection is not just for show. ‘It’s a working collection’, says John. ‘I play them all. It’s good to know that whatever the repertoire, whether it’s classical, jazz, swing, I can pick up an instrument totally appropriate to the period.’

John even has a trumpet that is named after him. He worked in collaboration with Barlow & Martin Natural Trumpets in Norwich, England, to develop the Foster Model Natural Trumpet.

When asked if he has a favourite instrument, John says ‘that’s too hard. It’s like asking if you have a favourite child.’ He goes on to say that there is a couple of Baroque trumpets of which he is particularly fond. John’s collection has been featured on the ABC television series, The Collectors and also on Channel 7’s The Morning Show.

In his Mosman concert John will be playing a modern trumpet, as Mosman Symphony Orchestra plays on modern instruments.

‘The concerto is a stunning example of late Baroque virtuosity’, says the orchestra’s musical director Andrew Del Riccio, ‘with some very innovative features for the time. What makes it even more amazing is the fact that it was written for the hunting horn. It’s a very difficult work for the modern trumpet, and only virtuosi are game to try it on.’

The concert also features music by Wagner and Beethoven’s much loved 7th Symphony.

Del Riccio advises booking online through the orchestra’s website to avoid disappointment. ‘Many of our recent concerts have sold out and this one promises to be very popular.’

The Apotheosis of the Dance

La Danse

Beethoven’s glorious 7th Symphony has been described in many ways, but it is interesting to note how often the descriptions touch on dance & celebration.

Robert Schumann likened it to a peasant wedding. His bête-noire, the critic Ludwig Bischoff, agreed with him saying somewhat more verbosely that it

‘conjures up pictures of the autumnal merry-makings of the gleaners and wine-dressers, the tender melancholy of love-lorn youth, the pious canticle of joy and gratitude for nature’s gifts and the final outburst when joy beckons again and the dance melodies float out upon the air and none stands idle.’

Richard Wagner enthused that it was

‘all tumult, all yearning and storming of the heart, become here the blissful insolence of joy, which carries us away with bacchanalian power through the roomy space of nature, through all the streams and seas of life, shouting in glad self-consciousness as we sound throughout the universe the daring strains of this human sphere-dance. The Symphony is the Apotheosis of the Dance itself: it is Dance in its highest aspect.’

Sir Thomas Beecham, on the other hand was not as high faluting, nor as complimentary: ‘What can you do with it? It’s like a lot of yaks jumping about.’

It was certainly a favourite of Beethoven himself, who regarded it as one of his finest works. He must have felt an added affection for it as the enthusiastic reception of its first performance, with demands for repeat performances, rescued him from serious debt. The piece has continued to delight and inspire players and audiences ever since.

Yet for all the symphony’s joyous energy, it is the hauntingly beautiful 2nd movement Allegretto that has been the most loved. Encored at the premiere, it was often performed as a stand alone piece in concerts & sometimes substituted for the slow movement in performances of Beethoven’s earlier symphonies. This is no bacchanalian revel, but the sense of movement and dance is still present in its measured, pulsing rhythm.

The movement has been used in popular culture both to convey and to elicit strong emotion. In this heartbreaking scene from  Mr Holland’s Opus the high school music teacher drops the needle onto the record player to play the 2nd movement as he tells his students about the circumstances of the composition of the 7th Symphony as Beethoven confronted his growing deafness.

Just try to imagine Beethoven, standing on that podium, holding his baton, his hands waving gracefully through the air, and the orchestra in his mind is playing perfectly; the orchestra in front of him trying desperately just to keep up.

A student asks ‘if Beethoven couldn’t hear, how would he even know what the notes were. If he never heard a C how would he know that’s what he wanted played?’

‘Well… Beethoven wasn’t born deaf’. Mr Holland answers.

Holland’s son was born deaf and will never share his father’s love of music.

In The King’s Speech, the same music provides a moving counterpoint to the climactic scene when King George VI, ‘conducted’ by  his speech therapist, Lionel Logue, overcomes his debilitating stutter to make the fateful radio broadcast to the British Empire declaring war on Germany.

The relentless forward movement of the allegretto and its measured slow build, reflects not only his personal determination and growing confidence, but the strength & resolution that he is asking of his audience.

On a less elevated note, Beethoven’s 7th also features prominently in that classic movie, It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. In the excerpt below, Sally’s disappointment with Linus at the apparent non appearance of the Easter Beagle (‘never trust a man with a blanket‘), and Charlie Brown’s usual lamentation over his lack of friends is accompanied by a melancholy piano rendition of the 2nd movement before the joyful 3rd movement ushers in the appearance of a dancing Snoopy as the Easter Beagle.

Funnily enough, the same movie features Snoopy dancing with some Easter bunnies in a scene strangely reminiscent of the Matisse painting, La Danse,  which we have chosen to illustrate our concert, the Apotheosis of the Dance.

beagle.jpg

We do hope you will join us this coming weekend to share some wonderful music, and stay after the concert to chat with the players. I can’t promise Bacchanalian revels, but there will be complimentary champagne and nibblies.

Christmas Music

There are some lovely concerts of  Christmas music coming up at the Cardinal Cerretti Chapel in Manly.

On Dec 2nd at 7.30 Music at Manly is presenting a fun-filled concert and a sing-a-long, to start your festive season. There will be brass and solo vocals, culminating with the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah. For more details click here.

Dec 3rd & 4th sees the Manly Warringah Choir with orchestra & soloists performing Karl Jenkins’ Stella Natalis and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, as well as carols for choir & audience. The conductor will be Carlos Alvarado, who conducted our recent Movies concert to great acclaim. For more details click here.

 

Classical music in the heart of Mosman

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