Esprit Creates Aural Space and Acoustic Resonance
Esprit Orchestra’s final concert of the season, The Last Paradise, takes place on Sunday, March 29 at Koerner Hall. The program features a diverse spectrum of styles and themes found in two World Premieres commissioned from Canadian composers Andrew Staniland and Scott Good, plus outstanding works by leading French and Chinese composers Marc-André Dalbavie and Xiaogang Ye. Conducted by Music Director and Conductor Alex Pauk, the concert features Esprit’s own Concertmaster, Stephen Sitarski, as soloist in Ye’s idiosyncratic work for violin and orchestra.
In his Vast Machine, Andrew Staniland draws a parallel between Esprit and the world’s fastest and largest machine, the Large Hadron Collider. As in the collider, with its acceleration of particles smashing things apart, this piece accelerates musical elements in ever-greater complexity to reach maximum intensity, colliding sections of the work in aural space, creating a climax that eventually shatters its themes into musical fragments.
Scott Good’s Resonance Unfolding 2 moves at a blistering pace, with harmonies unfolding in kaleidoscopic fashion, coming and going until a final, full saturation is achieved. Musical materials, employing spectral layers of sound colours and textures, move the piece in the direction of sound sculpture. The work was composed as an “Hommage à Olivier Messiaen” with the final four chords of Messiaen’s organ masterpiece Dieu Parmi Nous providing source material.
While Xiaogang Ye’s The Last Paradise initially suggests a personal response to the European violin concerto, incorporating certain elements of Chinese music, the piece is more like a late Romantic tone poem. It recounts the fate of a protagonist – portrayed by the violin – culminating in his funeral and eventual happiness upon the release of his spirit into the afterlife. The work traces experiences of the composer and his family through China’s Cultural Revolution and reflects on points of view many had for getting through the struggles of that time.
In Medieval times, the term color designated ways of creating melodies. Marc-André Dalbavie’s Color moves from a melodic entanglement to timbral music made up of chords – or from line to colour, in accordance with the title’s double meaning. Dalbavie extends the principles of “spectral music” (sounds based on recent acoustic discoveries, forms with continuous transformations, perceptual considerations aimed at accessibility). Melodies emerge from a harmonic/spectral resonance of colours and textures integrating tonality and atonality in a way that avoids the clichés of post-modern neo-romantic music.
Esprit Orchestra – The Last Paradise, Sunday March 29th, 2015
Alex Pauk, conductor | Stephen Sitarski, violin
Pre-concert chat moderated by composer Alexina Louie
Marc-André Dalbavie: Color (Canadian Premiere)
Andrew Staniland: Vast Machine (World Premiere) *
Scott Good: Resonance Unfolding 2 (World Premiere) **
Xiaogang Ye: The Last Paradise for violin and orchestra (Canadian Premiere)
*Commissioned with financial support from the Koerner Foundation
**Composed with a grant from The Chalmers Foundation
Stephen Sitarski’s appearance is graciously supported by David Novak.
The Last Paradise, Sunday March 29th, 2015, Koerner Hall
8:00PM Concert | 7:15PM Pre-Concert Chat
Royal Conservatory of Music TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Individual concert tickets start at: Adult $45; Senior 65+ $40; Under 30 $20
Esprit Orchestra is Canada’s only full-sized orchestra devoted exclusively to performing and promoting new orchestral music. Esprit Orchestra gratefully acknowledges Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, SOCAN Foundation, The Koerner Foundation, The Hal Jackman Foundation, The Mary Margaret Webb Foundation, The Max Clarkson Family Foundation and The J.P. Bickell Foundation for the their generous support.
Bengt Berger: The Epic of Cool Funeral Beer
First there was life; then death and then life again. Perhaps that’s because human have a natural tendency to aspire...
Music from All Corners of the World
If a record label – or imprint – were to be considered an “unfillable” library in the sense that the...
Ana-Marija Markovina: Mendelssohn – Towards the Restoration of Genius
Ana-Marija Markovina: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Complete Works for Piano [Solo] Few composers – artistic geniuses at that – have...
Joyce with Mauricio Maestro: Natureza
There has been a plethora of re-issued recordings in the past few years, but none quite like this on –...
Plínio Fernandes: Saudade
The brilliant young guitarist Plínio Fernandes proves once again [although he probably did not set out to do so] that...
Orli Shaham: Mozart – Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 2 & 3
Mozart Sonatas K.282, K.283, K.310, K.331, K332, K545 & K576 If classical radio stations [in Toronto, at any rate] are...
Artist Profile: Nella
Nella Rojas, or simply Nella, is a new voice hailing from the Venezuelan Island of Margarita Born in Venezuela, Nella...
Artist Profile: Salif Keita
Rail Band of the Train Station Hotel, Ambassadeurs of the Motel of Bamako, Ambassadeurs Internationaux, and lately, Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux: so many bands that...
Artist Profile: Alex Cuba
His sugarcane-sweet melodies, pop-soul hooks and powerful guitar riffs, relinquish a conventional stereotype that exemplifies much of the Latin music...
Albums9 years ago
Isabel Bayrakdarian – Ravel, Sayat-Nova & Kradjian: Troubadour and the Nightingale
Albums8 years ago
Banda Magda Presents: Yerakina
Interviews9 years ago
Conversation with Chris McKhool from Sultans of String
Albums9 years ago
A Fascination With “Bombay”: Richard Bennett; Bombay Dub Orchestra