Bjorn again as St Albans Sympphony Orchestra get new conductor
PUBLISHED: 16:05 08 October 2010
ST ALBANS Symphony Orchestra (SASO) will perform for the first time under its new principal conductor on Saturday, October 16.
Bjorn Bantock will lead the concert at St Saviour’s Church in Sandpit Lane in the launch of its 2010 to 2011 season with Dvorák’s Symphony No 9 From the New World.
The work has proved a resounding success with audiences since its first performance in New York back in 1893 and resulted in an extended visit to America by the Czech composer.
The whole symphony abounds in melodic, harmonic and rhythmic invention but most celebrated of all is the plaintive tune in the slow movement, so closely resembling an African-American spiritual that words were later set to it.
Bohemia, the land that Dvorák temporarily left behind, will be evoked by a symphonic poem by his contemporary, Smetana, which depicts the river Vltava as it flows from its source to the capital Prague.
By contrast, Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune portrays the languid desires and dreams of a young faun, dancing on an afternoon of shimmering heat. First performed in Paris only a year after the New World symphony, its famous opening flute solo has been claimed by some authorities as the birthplace of modern music.
Amid the terror of Stalin’s purges 40 years later, Russian composer Prokofiev was moved by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to write one of the 20th Century’s great ballet scores. SASO will perform the Suite No 2, which includes the stirring Knight’s Dance performed when Juliet first meets Romeo at a family ball.
Tickets for the concert, which starts at 7.30pm, cost £14 and £10, or £1 for under-18s and £5 for students, and can be bought from SASO ticket secretary on 01727 857422, from www.saso.org.uk or on the door.
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