Winter 2020

Conductor Mark Hopkins
with Guest Artist Timi Levy, violin

All are invited to attend a free pre-concert talk with our guest conductor, Dr. Mark Hopkins, prior to the second performance of our 2019/2020 season starting at 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Hopkins is an in demand guest conductor and music education specialist, and a Professor at Acadia University, Wolfville.

Festive Overture

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975)

Dmitri Shostakovich’s five-minute Festive Overture in A major, Op. 96, was written in 1947 to mark the 30th anniversary of the October Revolution. It was not performed however until the 37th anniversary, when Alexander Melik-Pashayev conducted it during a Nov. 6, 1954, concert in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. The Bolshoi's conductor, Vassili Nebolsin, found himself without a suitable new work to open the concert, and contacted Shostakovich just days before. 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. The overture begins with a fanfare in the brass, followed by a fast melody in the winds. The strings take up this melody and the piece reaches a climax with a four-note motif. Suddenly, the music reaches a more lyrical melody in the horns and cellos, although the tempo remains the same. Shostakovich develops this material in his typical style, using both themes in counterpoint, before the fanfare returns and leads to a rousing coda.

Symphonies of Wind Instruments

Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)

The Symphonies of Wind Instruments (French title: Symphonies d'instruments à vent) is a concert work written by Igor Stravinsky in 1920, for an ensemble of woodwind and brass instruments. The piece is in one movement, lasting about 9 minutes. It is dedicated to the memory of Claude Debussy, who died in 1918, and was premiered in London on June 10, 1921, conducted by Serge Koussevitzky.

Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra in D minor

Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)

The Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra in D minor was composed by Felix Mendelssohn at the age of thirteen. It has three movements, Allegro–Andante–Allegro, and performance duration is approximately 22 minutes. Mendelssohn wrote this violin concerto for Eduard Rietz (eldest brother of Julius Rietz), a beloved friend and teacher who later served as concertmaster for Mendelssohn's legendary performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion, which has been thought to have resurrected Bach in the public image.

Symphony No. 5

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)

The Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was composed between May and August 1888 and was first performed in St Petersburg at the Mariinsky Theatre on November 17 of that year with Tchaikovsky conducting. It is dedicated to Theodor Avé-Lallemant.

7:30 pm, Faith City Church, 6225 Summit Street, Halifax, NS

Tickets available online or at the door (cash, debit or credit card). Online tickets will be available at the door on the night of the concert. Just mention the name or email address you used when placing the order.