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Wellington Chamber Orchestra (WCO): Copland & Dvorak

Wellington Chamber Orchestra (WCO): Copland & Dvorak

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  • Sun 25 Sep ’11, 2:30pm


St Andrews on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adults : $15.00
  • Children (secondary students and younger): $0.00

Rachel Hyde conducts the Wellington Chamber Orchestra and trumpet soloist Cheryl Hollinger in a performance of:

Copland: Quiet City
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (From the New World)

Aaron Copland's gentle, jazz-influenced style always falls easily on the ear, and his distinctively 'American' sound led to the development of a unique national idiom that has served us well for over half a century, both in the concert hall and in the less obvious venue of the movie theatre.

His evocative 'Quiet City' (1940) is based on thematic material he had previously written as incidental music for a play by Irwin Shaw. Although only lightly scored for string orchestra with solo parts for cor anglais and trumpet, Copland's 'Quiet City' is among his most popular and successful works, a highly skilled and affectionate tribute to wakeful nights in the great metropolis that never sleeps.

'Appalachian Spring' began as a ballet scored for a thirteen-member chamber orchestra, commissioned by choreographer and dancer Martha Graham, and premiered in October 1944, at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, with Martha Graham dancing the lead role. Copland's expanded orchestral suite of music taken from the ballet has achieved widespread and enduring popularity. The melodies are primarily original, but towards the end of the work he chose to quote the Shaker song ``Simple Gifts,'' basing a masterful set of variations on the tune.

One of Dvořák’s most beloved works, the “New World” Symphony captures the essence of the composer’s travels to America. He composed the symphony between December 1892 and May 1893. He added the famous subtitle, ‘From the New World,’ just before he sent the score to the conductor, Anton Seidl. The composer used the words ‘Impressions and Greetings from the New World’ to explain the subtitle. Dvořák’s exposure to America left a stamp on his works that can be heard, especially in this symphony, in his melodic lines and themes, although his rhythms remained Czech. The piece contains allusions to famous American tunes woven throughout, including ‘Three Blind Mice,’ ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,’ and ‘The Little Alabama Coon,’ as well as hints of ‘Yankee Doodle.’ Even more influential is the character of the African-American spirituals and Native American tunes throughout his work. The composer wrote:
'It is this spirit which I have tried to reproduce in my new symphony. I have not actually used any of the melodies. I have simply written original themes embodying the peculiarities of the [American] Indian music, and using these themes as subjects, have developed them with all the resources of modern rhythms, harmony, counterpoint and orchestral colour.'

Online tickets: Adults $15; School students or younger are free.

Door sales: Adults $20; Concessions $15 (Tertiary students, Seniors, unwaged); School students or younger: free.

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