28 March 2021

Another weekend

This weekend it was a concert with Musica da Camera, my string orchestra.  You may expect Bach and Mozart from a string orchestra and that's great (I love playing them) but this was a rather different outing for players and for audience.  The most comfortable (in musical, if not in social terms) was La Calinda, a song sung by slaves at the wedding of Koanga and Palmyra in Florida in Delius' opera Koanga.  This was informed by Delius' time in 1884/5 in an orange plantation where he was much influenced by African American music.  Next was Bridge Suite for string orchestra, a neo-classical piece in four movements.  This was written in 1908 before the pacifist Bridge's trauma from WW1.  Third up was by Yasushi Akutagawa Triptyque for string orchestra.  YA was Japanese, strongly influenced by the Russians, especially Prokofiev, and was involved the then musical exchange between then USSR and Japan.  And to end, a driving minimalist piece Wojciech Kilar Orawa.  Orawa is a river and region between Poland and Slovakia.  The piece pictures the river flowing over rocks and through landscapes.  This one was fun, with four-to-the-floor 8s against 7s in two movements and a final "Hey" shouted by the orchestra.  Hip and modern.  Now this was a challenge for various ears, not least Rosemary who arranged at least one piece from a piano score.  There were some tricky spots and lines that were quite perverse and unexpected (counting is de rigeur in this world) but great fun and well received from a fairly limited Covid audience.  Thanks to Rosemary and all for an intriguing program and some satisfying playing.

 Musica da Camera performed Delius, Bridge, Akutagawa and Kilar in Cook.  Rosemary McPhail (conductor) directed and Jocelyn James (violin) led the firsts.

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