Plymouth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) spokesperson Emma Batley has some news about the ensemble’s next two summer concerts:
Emma writes: ‘Join the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra on Sunday 16th June, 5:30pm at Sterts Theatre, Liskeard or Wednesday 19th June, 7:30pm in Plymouth Guildhall for their summer concert. The concert includes some of the most popular light classical works by 20th-century English and American composers – from Vaughan Williams’ frenetic The Wasps Overture to well-known melodies from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
The score of The Wasps was originally composed for a production of Aristophanes’ play of the same name in 1909, at Trinity College Cambridge. After the hectic ‘waspish’ opening the work becomes typical Vaughan Williams, featuring modal harmonies and lyrical folk tunes. The orchestra will also be performing Vaughan Williams’s serene and lyrical Fantasia on Greensleeves, a traditional and very well-known English folk song.
Walton’s Façade, which premiered in 1923, was originally written as a setting of Edith Sitwell’s poetry and was a combination of classical parodies, nursery rhymes and jazz influences scored for dance-band. The reception at the first performance was very mixed and Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noel Coward were among the audience. By 1938 Walton had selected a handful of the original 22 movements, removed the poetry, and re-scored them for full orchestra into the two Orchestral Suites from which a selection of movements will be played.
Moving to America, Copland’s Appalachian Spring, composed in 1945, was originally composed for a ballet, scored for just 13 instruments. In 1945 Copland extracted a concert suite of eight movements for full orchestra, which achieved widespread and enduring popularity. The original ballet tells of a spring celebration of American pioneers in the 19th century and the work derived its inspiration from Shaker songs and dances.
Gershwin’s Orchestral Suite from Porgy and Bess features very familiar melodies such as Summertime and It Ain’t Necessarily So and his rousing Strike Up The Band forms a great finale to this concert of favourites.
Long-established Plymouth Symphony Orchestra
The Plymouth Symphony Orchestra is one of the longest-established orchestras in the country and attracts many distinguished soloists, with Ralph Kirshbaum, Guy Johnston, Tasmin Little, Joanna MacGregor, Michael Petrov and Savitri Grier amongst the performers to play with the orchestra’.
Anne Kimber wields the baton once more, and the players will be led on this occasion by Catherine Smith.
For ticket information visit www.plymouthsymphony.co.uk.
Sterts Theatre, Liskeard on Sunday June 16 at 5.30pm & Wednesday June 19 in Plymouth Guildhall at 7.30pm
Philip R Buttall
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