Airs and Graces

A Camerata New Brunswick orchestral concert. With Guest Conductor: Geneviève Leclair and solo Bassoon Patrick Bolduc in a concert of classics for a smaller orchestra.

Haydn: Symphony no. 45 in F# Minor, “Farewell”
Mozart:  Concerto for Bassoon in B Flat
Resphigi: Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite no. 3
José Evangelista:  Spanish Airs (Airs d’Espagne)

October 4, 2019, 7:30pm
Woodstock: Woodstock Baptist Church

October 5, 2019, 2pm
Dieppe: Cultural Centre

October 5, 2019, 7:30pm
Shediac: St Joseph Catholic Church

October 6, 2019, 2:30pm
Rothesay: Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Program Notes

Program notes Airs and Grace:

Haydn’s Symphony no. 45, also known as the “Farewell” Symphony, was premiered in 1772 at Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy’s palace in Eszterhaza, Hungary. At the premiere, the musicians followed indications from Haydn in the last movement to leave the stage one by one, snuffing out their candles, until only two violins remained. Theatrics of this sort were rare at the time but Haydn adhered to this technique to deliver an important message to his patron. After an extremely long summer season, Haydn and his musicians were long overdue to return home to their families. However, the Prince had requested they stay longer to perform a new symphony. Haydn composed the “Farewell” symphony with the objective to hint at the Prince that it was time to let the musicians go home. Haydn’s clever idea apparently worked. The next day, the Prince bid his musicians farewell and allowed them to return home to their families.

The Bassoon Concerto in B flat major is the only surviving bassoon concerto by Mozart. Even though the bassoon was not a common solo instrument during Mozart’s time, the main thematic material of this concerto was carefully designed for the instrument, showcasing its unique qualities and disguising its limits in power and range.

Spanish Airs by Jose Evangelista is a work that showcases a compositional style defined by the influence of his Spanish origins, Balinese gamelan, modal music and Western avant-garde. Spanish Airs is composed of fifteen short movements for string orchestra based on Spanish folk melodies.

Further notes By Genevieve Leclair:

The program as a whole is a real gem, which I am excited to conduct. I look forward to making music with the members of the orchestra and to sharing it with the multiple communities this orchestra belongs to. That is the most important part of what we do!

The « Farewell Symphony » is a piece close to my heart and I never tire of conducting it. It shows off Haydn, a composer I am extremely fond of, in all his wit, humor and in full mastery of his art. Often in the shadow of his contemporaries Mozart and Beethoven, Haydn ought to be better known and more performed. His music is incredibly intelligent and funny, as he plays with the expectations of the audience. Looking up close, the voicing is also beautifully crafted, like musical lace.
In this particular piece, Haydn was trying to convey a message to his employer that the servants were keen to leave the Summer estate and return to the city. Haydn therefore wrote a symphony in such a strange key that he had to order special tubes for the horns to be able to play it. He also added an extra movement at the end during which players leave the stage one by one… until only two violins are left. Time to go!

Mozart’s « Bassoon Concerto », written when the composer was 18 years old, is likely to be the first woodwind concerto he wrote. It shows off the beautiful tone, the incredible agility and versatility of the instrument. It’s nothing short of staple of the bassoon repertoire and I am looking forward to accompany Patrick Bolduc.

Despite being well-known for his large works like the Roman Trilogy, Respighi’s smaller works are absolutely incredible. « Ancient Airs and Dances » are three suites written by the composer-condutor-musicologist, based on late sixteenth century music. The third suite, which is on the program, is written for string orchestra and it shows Respighi profound love of late Renaissance music. It is like looking at Renaissance music through a twentieth century kaleidoscope.

José Evangelista is an award-winning Canadian composer of Spanish origin based in Montréal. His style is defined by the influence of his Spanish origins, Balinese gamelan, modal music and Western avant-garde. His music is driven by melody, which makes it accessible to the listener. « Spanish Airs » is comprised of fifteen very short movements for string orchestra based on Spanish folk melodies. It complements wonderfully Respighi’s work and immediately transports the listener under sunny skies and warmer climates! I challenge audience members not to dance their way home after this piece!
Please note that the correct times are 2pm for Dieppe and 7:30 for Shediac