The concert overture Carnival (Czech: Karneval, koncertní ouvertura), Op. 92, B. 169, was written by Antonín Dvořák in 1891. It is part of a "Nature, Life and Love" trilogy of overtures written by Dvořák, forming the second "Life" part. The other two parts of the trilogy are In Nature's Realm, Op. 91 ("Nature") and Othello, Op. 93 ("Love").
Antonín Leopold Dvořák (8 September 1841 – 1 May 1904) was a Czech composer. After Bedřich Smetana, he was the next Czech Romantic-era composer to achieve worldwide recognition. Following Smetana's nationalist example, Dvořák frequently employed aspects, specifically rhythms, of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák's own style has been described as "the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them".
- Source: Wikipedia: Carnival Overture & Wikipedia: Dvořák
Polonaise from Eugene Onegin
Eugene Onegin (Russian: Евгений Онегин, Yevgény Onégin), Op. 24, is an opera ("lyrical scenes") in 3 acts (7 scenes), composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto, organised by the composer himself, very closely follows certain passages in Alexander Pushkin's novel in verse, retaining much of his poetry. Tchaikovsky's friend Konstantin Shilovsky contributed M. Triquet's verses in Act 2, Scene 1, while Tchaikovsky himself arranged the text for Lensky's arioso in Act 1, Scene 1, and almost all of Prince Gremin's aria in Act 3, Scene 1.
Eugene Onegin is a well-known example of lyric opera, to which Tchaikovsky added music of a dramatic nature. The story concerns a selfish hero who lives to regret his blasé rejection of a young woman's love and his careless incitement of a fatal duel with his best friend.
- Source: Wikipedia: Eugene Onegin
The Festive Overture in A major, Op. 96, was written by Dmitri Shostakovich and premiered in 1954 at a concert held at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the October Revolution (which took place in 1917).
The Bolshoi's conductor, Vassili Nebolsin, found himself without a suitable new work to open the concert, and contacted Shostakovich just days before. The composer set to work on the overture with great speed, completing it in three days. He apparently based it on Glinka's Ruslan and Ludmilla overture (1842), and it features the same lively tempo and style of melody. Whilst the style reflects Shostakovich, the piece as a whole uses very conventional classical devices of form and harmony.
- Source: Wikipedia: Festive Overture
Die Moldau (German, also known as Vltava; English: “The Moldau”), was composed between in 1874 and was premiered on 4 April 1875 under Adolf Čech. In this piece, Smetana uses tone painting to evoke the sounds of one of Bohemia's great rivers. In his own words:
“The composition describes the course of the Vltava, starting from the two small springs, the Cold and Warm Vltava, to the unification of both streams into a single current, the course of the Vltava through woods and meadows, through landscapes where a farmer's wedding is celebrated, the round dance of the mermaids in the night's moonshine: on the nearby rocks loom proud castles, palaces and ruins aloft. The Vltava swirls into the St John's Rapids; then it widens and flows toward Prague, past the Vyšehrad, and then majestically vanishes into the distance, ending at the Labe (or Elbe, in German).”
The piece contains Smetana's most famous tune. It is an adaptation of the melody La Mantovana, attributed to the Italian renaissance tenor, Giuseppe Cenci, which, in a borrowed Romanian form, was also the basis for the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah.
- Source: Wikipedia: Má_vlast
Hisaishi / Reyes
Castle in the Sky Suite
Hisaishi was born in Nakano, Nagano, Japan as Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru). When he started learning violin in the Violin School Suzuki Shinichi at the age of four, he found his passion in music. Also, when he was young, he was taken to a movie theatre and watched 300 movies for 4 years. This had strongly influenced his current job. Realizing his love, he attended the Kunitachi College of Music in 1969 to major in music composition. Hisaishi collaborated with minimalist artists as a typesetter, furthering his experience in the musical world.
In 1985, he founded his own recording studio—the wonder station. Their collaboration has invited comparisons to the collaborations of Steven Spielberg and John Williams. This big break led to Hisaishi's overwhelming success as a composer of film scores. In 1986, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, would be the first feature to appear under the Studio Ghibli banner, and its gentle, faintly melancholic tone would become a familiar trademark of much of the studio’s later output.
- Source: Wikipedia: Joe Hisaishi
Prelude from Die Meistersinger
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg ("The Master-Singers of Nuremberg") is a music drama (or opera) in three acts, written and composed by Richard Wagner. It is among the longest operas commonly performed, usually taking around four and a half hours. It was first performed at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater, today the home of the Bavarian State Opera, in Munich, on 21 June 1868.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his later works were later known, "music dramas"). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).
- Source: Wikipedia: Die Meistersinger & Wikipedia: Richard Wagner
Overture from Candide
Candide is an operetta with music composed by Leonard Bernstein, based on the 1759 novella of the same name by Voltaire. The operetta was first performed in 1956 with a libretto by Lillian Hellman; but since 1974 it has been generally performed with a book by Hugh Wheeler which is more faithful to Voltaire's novel. The primary lyricist was the poet Richard Wilbur. Other contributors to the text were John Latouche, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman, Stephen Sondheim, John Mauceri, John Wells, and Bernstein himself. Maurice Peress and Hershy Kay contributed orchestrations. Although unsuccessful at its premiere, Candide has now overcome the unenthusiastic reaction of early audiences and critics and achieved enormous popularity. It is very popular among major music schools as a student show because of the quality of its music and the opportunities it offers to student singers.
Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."
- Source: Wikipedia: Candide & Wikipedia: Leonard Bernstein
Salut d'Amour (Liebesgruß), Op. 12, is a musical work composed by Edward Elgar in 1888, originally written for violin and piano.
Elgar finished the piece in July 1888, when he was romantically involved with Caroline Alice Roberts, and he called it "Liebesgruss" ('Love's Greeting') because of Miss Roberts' fluency in German. On their engagement she had already presented him with a poem "The Wind at Dawn" which he set to music and, when he returned home to London on 22 September from a holiday at the house of his friend Dr. Charles Buck in Settle, he gave her Salut d'Amour as an engagement present.
Sir Edward William Elgar was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.
- Source: Wikipedia: Salut d'Amour & Wikipedia: Edward Elgar
Theme from E.T.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Music from the Original Soundtrack is the film score to the 1982 film of the same name composed and conducted by John Williams. The score was released by MCA Records on June 11, 1982. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. The album was remastered and reissued by La-La Land Records on September 26, 2017.
Longtime Spielberg collaborator John Williams, who composed the film's musical score, described the challenge of creating one that would generate sympathy for such an odd-looking creature. As with their previous collaborations, Spielberg liked every theme Williams composed and had it included. Spielberg loved the music for the final chase so much that he edited the sequence to suit it. Williams took a modernist approach, especially with his use of polytonality, which refers to the sound of two different keys played simultaneously. The Lydian mode can also be used in a polytonal way. Williams combined polytonality and the Lydian mode to express a mystic, dreamlike and heroic quality. His theme—emphasizing coloristic instruments such as the harp, piano, celesta, and other keyboards, as well as percussion—suggests E.T.'s childlike nature and his "machine".
- Source: Wikipedia: E.T. Soundtrack & Wikipedia: E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
Cinema Paradiso (Italian: Nuovo Cinema Paradiso) is a 1988 Italian drama film written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. The film stars Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret, Leopoldo Trieste, Marco Leonardi, Agnese Nano and Salvatore Cascio, and was produced by Franco Cristaldi and Giovanna Romagnoli, while the music score was composed by Ennio Morricone along with his son, Andrea. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 62nd Academy Awards.
In 1988 Morricone started an ongoing and very successful collaboration with Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore. His first score for Tornatore was for the drama film Cinema Paradiso. The international version of the film won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and the 1989 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. In 2002, the director's cut 173-minute version was released (known in the U.S. as Cinema Paradiso: The New Version). Morricone received a BAFTA award and a David di Donatello for his score.
- Source: Wikipedia: Cinema Paradiso & Wikipedia: Ennio Morricone
1812 Overture is a concert overture written in 1880 by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to commemorate Russia's defence of its fatherland against Napoleon's invading Grande Armée in 1812.
The overture debuted in Moscow on August 20, 1882, conducted by Ippolit Al'tani under a tent near the then-unfinished Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which also memorialized the 1812 defence of Russia. The overture was conducted by Tchaikovsky himself in 1891 at the dedication of Carnegie Hall, in what was one of the first times a major European composer visited the United States. The overture is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes, and brass fanfare finale. It has also become a common accompaniment to fireworks displays on the United States' Independence Day. The 1812 Overture went on to become one of Tchaikovsky's most popular works, along with his ballet scores to The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake.
- Source: Wikipedia: 1812 Overture
From The Stage
ConductorKen HsiehA Charming, Passionate and Compelling presence on the podium, award-winning Canadian conductor, Kenneth Hsieh has emerged as one of the top rising young conductors to watch."Conducting is more than slicing air, it has to be heartfelt"
OrchestraVancouver Metropolitan OrchestraThe Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra is a non-profit society founded by Maestro Kenneth Hsieh. Since its inception in 2003, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra (VMO) has been dedicated to providing superior orchestral mentorship for talented music graduates, helping them move from student to professional. The VMO is dedicated to the artistic, personal and professional development of outstanding young musicians.
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SEASON OPENING CONCERT
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Join us for some of Tchaikovsky's greatest compositions, including Symphony No. 5, and Piano Concerto No. 1, one of the most popular of Tchaikovsky's compositions and among the best known of all piano concertos, featuring Vancouver award-winning pianist Libby Yu. Also introducing a world-premiere composition by VMO's very own Composer-in-residence, Trevor Hoffman.
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