On January 19, 2014 the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra will continue their 2013-2014 concert season with a “Blast From the Past”, playing favorite works from previous years to commemorate the orchestra’s 10th anniversary.
The program at Kahilu Theater in Waimea will feature solo performances by concertmaster Ursula Vietze, principal second violinist Joel Gimpel and artistic director Dr. Madeline Schatz in Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”.
Antonio Vivaldi's "Le quattro stagioni", (The Four Seasons) composed in 1723, is among the most familiar pieces of baroque music, and Vivaldi's best-known work. Vivaldi, who was highly inventive and avant-garde for his time, introduced the concept of instrumental music that tells a story with these compositions, a set of four violin concertos depicting the four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. First published in 1725 as part of a set of "Twelve concerti, Op. 8" titled "Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione", (The Contest Between Harmony and Invention), each concerto is in three movements, with a slow movement in between two fast movements. As a violin virtuoso, Vivaldi extended the technique of the instrument, illustrated by the complexity of the solo parts for these concertos.
Ursula Vietze will reprise her spectacular October 2005 performance of Concerto No. 1 in E Major, "La Primavera" (Spring), which depicts the bird song, melting snow and gentle breezes of the spring season. For this concert, she will also perform Concerto No. 3 in E Major, “L’Autunno” (Autumn), a musical celebration of the bountiful harvest and the beginning of the fall hunt.
Joel Gimpel also soloed with the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2005, on Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, “L’Estate” (Summer), which portrays searing summer heat and sometimes violent storms. A West Hawaii Today review of Gimpel’s performance said he played the concerto with “a foot stomping enthusiasm that echoed the fierce thunder of the music”.
Dr. Madeline Schatz will be the soloist on Concerto No. 4 in F Minor: “L’Inverno”(Winter). The ice and freezing cold of the winter season is reflected in the music of this piece.
Prolific German composer Felix Mendelssohn, referred to by his contemporary Robert Schumann as the Mozart of the 19th century, composed more than 400 pieces by the time he died at age 38. He was only 14 years old when he wrote String Symphony No. 9 (Swiss Symphony) after a family sightseeing trip to Lucerne, Switzerland. The work features a Swiss folk melody, and the third movement is reminiscent of mountain echoes. It includes an alpine yodel, something which fascinated the young Mendelssohn. One of his best known works, Overture to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, was composed at age 17. Another popular piece, “Hebrides Overture” was inspired by his impressions of Scotland. His music was the essence of Romanticism, with its expression of feelings and emotions. Good humor and optimism characterize Mendelssohn’s music, and his serene melodic style is universally appealing. The orchestra first performed this piece at their debut concert on March 21, 2004, is looking forward to an even better performance of the piece for this concert.
Samuel Barber arranged the second movement of his “String Quartet, Op. 11” to create the beautiful “Adagio for Strings” in 1936. It is certainly the composer’s best known work, and some music critics consider it the most popular of all 20th century orchestral works. The melody of the piece, which first slowly ascends and then descends in a stepwise fashion, pauses after four climactic chords, then resumes the opening theme and fades away, calling up a sense of sadness and deep emotion. It has been used in numerous television shows and movies (most famously as the soundtrack to the movie “Platoon”), one factor in the vast popularity of the work. Members of the Kamuela Philharmonic requested Dr. Schatz to program this piece for their winter concert on January 16, 2005 and are looking forward to the opportunity to play it again.