We are also preparing a concert at the new GPAC in Traralgon for the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall series.
More information to come.
Concert 3 a celebration of British composers.
Enigma Variations – Edward Elgar
“Something might be made of it” and with these immortal words, one of the most admired and acclaimed pieces of music began. Edward Elgar, whilst playing the piano one night after a day of teaching stumbled upon the thematic idea of his most famous piece the Enigma Variations. He started to play the theme in variations saying to his wife Alice, Powell (Variation II) would do this, or Nevison (Variation XII)would do it like this. Elgar himself describes it as being ‘commenced in a spirit of humour and continued deep seriousness’ and he proceeded to compose fourteen variations of the theme all dedicated to his friends and of course Alice, his wife.
Much has been made about the Enigma, but Elgar wrote “The enigma I will not explain—it's ‘dark saying’ must be left unguessed, and I warn you that the apparent connection between the Variations and the Theme is often of the slightest texture; further, through and over the whole set another and larger theme ‘goes,’ but is not played—so the principal Theme never appears. . . .” Many have pondered what the Enigma is, however, what isn’t in dispute is that the Enigma Variations is a classical music masterpiece
English Folk Song Suite – Ralph Vaughan Williams
Vaughan Williams, like Elgar was a profoundly proud British composer. He was born and grew up in the Gloucestershire where he had an idyllic childhood. He is a famous military band composer and his English Folk Song Suite, which he composed in 1923 has become a cornerstone of the military band repertoire. The suite was originally commissioned by the Royal Military School of Music and was titled Folk Song Suite, he added the ‘English’ dedication after he had orchestrated it for full orchestra. The suite is a collection of folk songs from Norfolk and Somerset including Seventeen Come Sunday, Pretty Caroline, Green Bushes, Blow Away the Morning Dew to name a few. The form is March, Intermezzo and March and it originally had a fourth movement which the composer removed from the suite and published that as a separate work.
A Somerset Rhapsody – Gustav Holst
Holst shares some traits with Ralph Vaughan Williams, both born in Gloucestershire, and both shared a love of English folk music. Holst was a composer, trombonist, arranger, and teacher. A Somerset Rhapsody was composed in 1906 and the dedication is to Cecil Sharp a highly esteemed collector of English folksongs. It’s original working title is A New Selection of Songs of Somerset and feature up to ten folk tunes. In this piece Holst uses four tunes; 1. The Sheep Shearing Song which is a perfect depiction of the English pastoral countryside and is written for the Oboe d’amore. 2. High Germany a song about marching off to war and was also included in the English Folk Song Suite by Vaughan Williams. 3. True Love’s Farewell, lovers saying goodbye and the final tune in The Cuckoo.
Although not strictly a programmatic work Holst did confide in a colleague that the work did have a narrative:
“Into a quiet country scene comes the sound of approaching soldiers. A youth who is courting a girl is persuaded to enlist and go to war. The soldiers march into the distance and the pastoral quietness returns. The girl is left alone.”
We are pleased to launch our 2022 concert series with this outstanding program covering masterworks from the Classical to the Romantic era, the Gippsland Symphony Orchestra will present music from three of the most respected and loved composers of all time.
W.A. Mozart is a titan among composers, considered a Master of Composition he was the most prolific and inspired musicians of his time. He wrote over 600 works in his relatively short life. His overture to The Magic Flute, Die Zauberflote is a masterwork of the classic period. The work begins with a statement of chords that musicologists suggest is a nod to the Freemasons movement. The plot of The Magic Flute is said to have hidden references to Masonry, this may be the case, but the Overture is one of the most thrilling and exciting to play and listen to.
Edvard Grieg was a Norwegian composer who took the folklore of his native Norway and presented it to the world. His Peer Gynt Suite No 1 is in 4 movements, Morning Mood, Ases Death, Anitra’s Dance, and the easily recognizable Hall of the Mountain King. Peer Gynt tells the story of Peer who tells people stories that aren’t true and as a result, he gets himself into some considerable trouble with a range of trolls, gnomes, and goblins. He insults the trolls and their king, which leads him on an adventure to escape the grasp of the Mountain King. The trolls and other creatures stalk Peer softly. As the chase gets faster and more intense, the music does the same.
Schubert is one musical wonderment. His symphonic compositions began as young as 15 and his Sixth Symphony was composed in his 20th year. All his symphonies went unheard during his lifetime and the first performance of the sixth was a decade after he died. His compositional style is heavily influenced by the titans Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. The opening of the sixth is very reminiscent of Beethoven as is the third movement Scherzo, which Beethoven may well have composed himself. The first movement is a perfect example of the Romantic era composers use of Classical form but adding their individual fingerprints. Schubert died at the age of 31 and left behind a catalogue of songs (lieder), string quartets, and more importantly six stunningly beautiful symphonies.
It's a great thrill for the GSO to present this brilliantly conceived and composed symphony for you.
Once again the dreaded 'Rona forced the cancellation of our planned August concerts.
Once again Jacob Evans has prepared for a concert only to have to put it on ice. He has been preparing the Grieg Piano Concerto for some time now, originally due to be performed in March 2020. Jacob's ability to rise and rise again is a testament to his dedication and speaks volumes for his musicianship.
The orchestra has been willing to come and prepare the works for the concert as if we aren't in a Pandemic, there's such a dedication to this orchestra that really impresses me and makes me grateful that I get to conduct such a wonderful group of people.
We have started rehearsals for the November concert season. This time we are combining all the pieces that feature orchestra members as soloists, we've dubbed the concert 'Three in One' where you'll hear three of the most famous concertos in the music canon. Jacob Evans will present the Grieg Piano Concerto in a minor, Lynette Newman will present the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, the second movement of this piece was voted number 1 in the ABC Top 100 Classical pieces and Edward Pople will present the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
It's an honour to conduct the orchestra and for the GSO to give these outstanding musicians an opportunity to perform their interpretation of these classic works.
Please get your tickets from the box office at the Wedge or WGAC or get them online. It will be a great support and boost for us who are trying desperately to maintain a thriving music scene in GIppalsnd in the face of continual difficulty.
AUGUST CONCERTS are fast approaching and the orchestra has commenced preparation for one of our most challenging pieces to date. Edward Elgar's extraordinary musical masterpiece; The Enigma Variations.
“Something might be made of it and with these immortal words, one of the most admired and acclaimed pieces of music began. Edward Elgar, whilst playing the piano one night after a day of teaching stumbled upon the thematic idea of his most famous piece the Enigma Variations. He started to play the theme in variations saying to his wife Alice, Powell (Variation II) would do this, or Nevison (Variation XII)would do it like this. Elgar himself describes it as being ‘commenced in a spirit of humour and continued deep seriousness’ and he proceeded to compose fourteen variations of the theme all dedicated to his friends and of course Alice, his wife.
Much has been made about the Enigma but Elgar wrote “The enigma I will not explain—it's ‘dark saying’ must be left unguessed, and I warn you that the apparent connection between the Variations and the Theme is often of the slightest texture; further, through and over the whole set another and larger theme ‘goes,’ but is not played—so the principal Theme never appears. . . .” Many have pondered what the Enigma is however, what isn’t in dispute is that the Enigma Variations is a classical music masterpiece.
Edvard Grieg had beginner’s luck with his A Minor Piano Concerto. Written when the composer was 25, it is one of the most performed piano concertos in the repertoire, and, along with the Peer Gynt suites, Grieg’s most popular work. Grieg later created two suites from his Peer Gynt music. Some of the music from these suites has received coverage in popular culture; see Grieg's music in popular culture.
It is with great pleasure that the soloist for the Grieg Piano Concerto will be the GSO cellist Jacob Evans.
March 28 will see the GSO back at The Wedge for a concert featuring Beethoven's Symphony No 6, Pastoral. The orchestra will also present Bizet's L'Arlesienne Suite No 2 and Fidelio Overture.
Great news, we are looking at performing a concert on January 24 at the WGAC. Tickets available at the box office.
It will be a great start to 2021, don't miss out and further details to come.
Tickets are on sale from the WGAC and we hope to see as many of you there as possible. The concert will feature two Mozart symphonies also a Divertimento, Flute Duet and Clarinet Ensemble.
Thank you to the players, the staff of the Wedge, and all those who turned out to hear us playing on Nov 15. It was such a great day to once again be playing with such wonderful people.
After a long a sometimes frustrating year it was like spring rain for all the musicians who played.
As for the rest of 2020? .........................
Tickets are on sale now for the November 16 (WGAC) and 17 (The Wedge) performances with current MSO Principal Double Bass Steve Reeves. This late Romantic concerto is a mainstay of the bass repertoire and Steve's interpretation is musically sublime.
Bottesini was a renowned composer, soloist, and conductor. He was referred to as the Paganini of the bass; high praise indeed.
Once heard this work will forever change your perception of 'the bottom end'.
Ann Roffe was superb in Korumburra. If you missed her performance last Sunday you missed out on a stunning interpretation of the Bruch Violin Concerto. The accompaniment supplied by the GSO was equally breathtaking and the audience was treated to an afternoon of exceptional musicianship.
Don't wait any longer to get your tickets for the final concert of the year which will feature Steve Reeves, currently principal DOuble Bassists with the MSO playing the Bottesini Double Bass Concerto No 2 in B minor. The concerts are on November 16 at the WGAC and November 17 at the WEdge.
Tickets on sale now.
GSO is proud to once again be joining with the CRASHENDO Bairnsdale Development Orchestra for a concert. This year's concert will be at the FORGE THEATRE in Bairnsdale on September 8th at 2.00 pm. CCRASHENDO Bairnsdale Development Orchestrarashendo will be playing in their own right as well as joining in with the GSO to play a selection of football theme songs. Don't' forget to wear your team's scarf or beanie.
Ann Roffe will once again play the Bruch Violin Concerto No 1.
GSO will perform the following week in Korumburra at the beautiful St Joseph's Catholic Church. This concert will begin at 3.00 pm. Please make note of the later time.
Bravo Ann Roffe.
What a superb performance of the masterful Bruch Violin Concerto. Ann's performance was electric and captivated the audience and the orchestra alike.
Many comments from audience members after the performance expressing a desire to hear more Violin Concerto's. You're all on notice Violins. :)
Our next concert is a collection of Opera choruses and solos and we will be joined by the Latrobe Chorale. The concerts will be at Sale and Kernot Hall in Morwell over the last two weekends in June; 23rd and 30th respectively.
The soloist for the concert will be some of the finest singers in Gippsland and it promises to be a wonderful afternoon of beautiful music.
We have begun working on the pieces for our first concert this year which will take place on March 31, The Wedge, and April 7. Both concerts are on Sunday afternoon and begin at 2.30 pm.
This concert sees our very own orchestra member Ann Roffe as a featured soloist and she is performing the Bruch Violin Concerto No 1 in g minor.
Ann's performance of this seminal work will captivate you and thrill you as she maneuvers through cascades of arpeggios, double stop, and frenetic scale passages.
Ann Roffe was brought up in Adelaide, started learning violin at the age of five, and two years later she commenced lessons with Lyndall Hendrickson, a noted producer of child prodigies. When in England for a year at the age of 11 she won a scholarship to Chethams School of Music in Manchester, appeared on TV, and performed for Yehudi Menuhin for the second time, having previously done so in Australia. As an adult, she has lived most of her life in the country, particularly in Gippsland, and has taken every opportunity to perform with whoever might be around, which included a ten-year stint in a folk band as well as numerous string quartets. As an adult, she achieved a self-taught L.Mus.A, and to balance out her life she works as a teacher, is Head of Music at Catholic College Sale, is heavily into theatre both as a GAT judge and on and off stage, formed the Gippsland Choral Festival, which is still going some 26 years on, and produced two wonderful (and musical) children. Her first love is performing classical music, so she is absolutely delighted and honoured to bring Bruch's first violin concerto to life with the Gippsland Symphony Orchestra, a work she first learned when she was ten.
WHAT A WEEKEND
Thank you to everyone for coming and supporting the GSO and Judy Hall over the weekend of November 17th & 18th.
We played to approx 950 people over two extraordinary concerts; one of which is available through the WGAC Facebook page for those who didn't see the live stream or attend the concert.
Planning has begun for 2019 and it's promising to be another outstanding year of exceptional music-making in Gippsland.
Thanks for your support, have a great Christmas, New Year, and holiday period.
Concert 3 - Sale and Warragul
The concert on NOVEMBER 17th at the West Gippsland Arts Centre is now a free event. If you go online you can book your preferred seat in the stalls, but they are running out quickly.
We have finalised arrangements with the Melbourne Town Hall and Judy Hall will be playing the Chopin F# minor concerto 2nd movement with the GSO.
Also featuring in the concert will be solo performances from two of Judy's past students; Tim Young and Alex Waite. Her grandson Simon Young will also play.
The concert starts at 2.pm and will conclude approx 4.00 pm. The CoM has organised some refreshments for after the concert so please stay and mingle and catch up with Judy.
We have had some terrific feedback on the past concert and request's aplenty for a repeat performance of Peter and the Wolf. So, we are performer Peter and the Wolf in our November concerts; 2.30 pm on Nov 4 at The Wedge and 7.00 pm Nov 17 at the West Gippsland Arts Centre.
It promises to be a terrific program and I hope you can all get there and support the orchestra as we move to the bigger venues for our concerts.
Tickets are on sale from both venues now.
It is with great pleasure that we welcome Joan Evans to be our soloist at this concert.
New Zealand-born cellist Joan Evans studied initially with her cello-teaching mother, Dorothy Wallace, winning a Queen Elizabeth Arts Council bursary at the age of 16 to study at the Guildhall School of Music in London with the legendary William Pleeth. During her time there she also studied with the famous cellist Jacqueline Du Pré.
On her return home, she was a member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for 2 years before coming to Australia to take up the position of Principal Cello in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. During her Tasmania sojourn, Joan was a cellist in the Lyrian String Quartet and Viola da Gamba player in the Tasmanian Renaissance Consort. She performed in many chamber concerts and broadcasts as a member of these ensembles and was also active as a soloist in broadcasts for the ABC.
Joan moved to Melbourne to take up the position of Associate Principal Cello in The Elizabethan Trust Orchestra (now Orchestra Victoria), subsequently joining the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1980 where she remained until her retirement in 2012. In addition to the extensive orchestral repertoire, she has maintained her active enjoyment of playing chamber music, appearing frequently in the MSO Chamber Music Series.
Judy Hall update
I met with the organisers at the City of Melbourne to talk about the concert for Judy on November 18. It's all steam ahead and I urge as many of you to come as possible.
The concert will be a free event however, we have been requested to allocate tickets for organisational purposes.
Hope you will join us for this momentous occasion.
Concert 2 - Cowes and Korumburra
We had a terrific fortnight of concerts at Cowes and Korumburra and my thanks go to Fiona, Jayne, Ted, John and Chris for their wonderful solos and of course everyone in the orchestra for a great day.
Judy Hall update
Some important information regarding Judy and the ongoing playing at the Melbourne Town Hall story. There was some confusion between Town Hall and the MSO and unfortunately, Judy will not be playing with the MSO. The Town Hall has offered Judy a Sunday afternoon concert which we've agreed to play at and support her in her dream.
The orchestra will play the Chopin concerto again and the rest of the program will be from our concerts in November.
I will post more detailed information closer to the dates once we've confirmed the schedule.
West Gippsland Arts Centre Opening
We will be playing as part of the grand re-opening concert at the West Gippsland Arts Centre on October 20th. Times are still be negotiated and as such, I can't post the piece as that will be time-dependent.
Concert for Kids
This will be a special afternoon with the Crashendo kids from Bairnsdale. We will be performing Peter and the Wolf again as well as a selection of other works we've prepared. This special event will be capped with select students from the program sitting among the GSO.
We had a hugely successful concert with Judy in April and May this year and thanks to Rachel Lucas from Gippsland ABC for her wonderful reporting on Judy.
The video and story were posted on the Gippsland ABC website and the national news picked up the story and ran a shorter version of the story on the 7.00 pm Friday night news.
Judy made a comment in the interview that her dream was to play at the Melbourne Town Hall and subsequent to the concert and all the publicity we have received an offer for Judy to perform at the Town Hall.
Judy will be making her Town Hall debut on Friday, September 14th with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
The GSO is thrilled for Judy and thanks all involved at the City of Melbourne and the MSO for making this happen.
An amazing story with the much-deserved reward for a life-giving to others, time for you Judy to have your own moment.
We are just about to begin rehearsals for our second concert for 2018. This concert will feature two of our violinists as soloists; Fiona and Edward Pople will perform the Vivaldi Double Violin Concerto.
The concert will also feature well-respected Arts Director Rob Robson from the West Gippsland Arts Centre as the narrator for Peter and the Wolf.
Rounding out the program will be two Tchaikovsky pieces; Waltz from Eugene Onegin and selections from Swan Lake Suite.
We had a terrific fortnight of concerts at Cowes and Korumburra and my thanks go to Fiona, Jayne, Ted, John, and Chris for their wonderful solos and of course everyone in the orchestra for a great day.