This summer, the Orchestre Métropolitain will be out and about and connecting with audiences more than ever! Under the baton of its conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the orchestra presents a free concert in Ahuntsic-Cartierville where the bucolic atmosphere, the friendly ambiance and the family spirit make for unique and unforgettable moments, as much for music lovers as for the more curious.
The OM warmly thanks its partners: Ahuntsic-Cartierville , the Ville de Montréal, the gouvernement du Québec and the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF).
Moxi Chen, aged 17, arrived from China in 2016. In June 2022, he won the gold medal in the 15-and-under category at the WPTA International Competition in Finland, for his interpretation of the first five etudes from Chopin’s Op. 10.
In fact, it was a YouTube video of Moxi, at the age of 15, performing Chopin’s 12 etudes Op. 10 that earned him the honor of being personally invited by pianist Louis Lortie to take part in masterclasses at the Wilhelm Kempff Academy of Music in Italy in July 2022.
He recently won second prize in the 16 and under category at the Canadian Music Competition, with the first movement of Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto.
Since arriving in Canada, Moxi has been studying with Tristan Lauber. He has just been accepted into Janelle Fung’s class at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, with whom he has already been working for a year. He also studies with Maria Sourjko, Matt Herskowitz and Serhiy Salov.
1875 – 1912
Ballade for orchestra in A minor
Premiered at the Gloucester Festival on September 12, 1898, conducted by Coleridge-Taylor
“I want to be nothing in the world except what I am: a musician.” – Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
In April 1898, on being offered a commission from the Three Choirs Festival, Edward Elgar replied: “I am sorry I am too busy to do so. I wish, wish, wish you would ask Coleridge-Taylor to do it. He still wants recognition, and he is far and away the cleverest fellow going amongst the young men.” The recommendation resulted in the young composer writing his Ballade in A minor for full orchestra.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born in 1875 to a Sierra Leonean father, who had come to London to study medicine, and a British mother, and his musical gifts soon became apparent. After learning to play the piano and violin, he entered the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied composition under Charles Villiers Stanford. He began conducting orchestras in the capital and environs in 1895 and soon became a teacher at Trinity College and the Guildhall School of Music. His fame as a composer was ensured with his orchestral Ballade in A minor and his large cantata Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, the first part of his The Song of Hiawatha trilogy, which enjoyed enormous success in all English-speaking countries.
Coleridge-Taylor had to deal with the racism of his era. In some places, he was not even allowed to conduct his own works. He soon began standing up for the rights of Afro-British and Afro-Americans, who welcomed him as a hero during his visits to the United States. In 1904, he was invited by a choral society that bore his name and had assembled a chorus of more than 200 voices of African descendants. He was also received at the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt. Shortly after two other American tours, he succumbed to pneumonia in 1912 at the age of 37.
Coleridge-Taylor left behind a large number of works in every genre. In all of them, “this musician who greatly admired Dvořák has a spontaneous spirit sustained by subtle invention and a supple, natural lyricism” (Henry de Rouville). Colourfully orchestrated, his Ballade opens with an energetic and intriguing motif that returns in various sound combinations to unify the melodic flow before drawing to an end after a beautiful lyric episode, clearly demonstrating that Coleridge-Taylor deserves a prominent place among the British masters of his era.
Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), overture
Premiered in Dresden on January 2, 1843, conducted by Wagner
In 1838, the 25-year-old Wagner read of the legend of the Flying Dutchman in chapter VII of a novel by the great German romantic poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), Memoiren des Herrn von Schnabelewopski (The Memoirs of Mister von Schnabelewopski, 1833): a Dutchman, a ship’s captain who dared defy God, is condemned to eternally wander the seas with a ghost crew. Only the unconditional love of a woman can save him from this fate, and every seven years he is allowed to disembark and attempt to inspire such a love.
Der Fliegende Hollander, literally “The Flying Dutchman,” is Wagner’s fourth opera and his first masterpiece characteristic of his own style. Composed after the opera was completed, the overture incorporates several of the main themes and brilliantly summarizes the plot.
Premiered in London on April 22, 1885, conducted by Dvořák
In the first half of the 19th century, European musical language was dominated by German influences on instrumental music and Italian influences on opera. With the dawning of nationalism from the middle of the century on, a number of so-called “national schools” began to emerge. The Russian school with Glinka (1804-1857), the Czech school with Smetana (1824-1884), the English school with Elgar (1857-1934) and the Spanish school with Albéniz (1860-1909) brought new voices to the fore. The composers looked to their respective countries, drawing inspiration from traditional melodies and rhythms and, in some cases, actually quoting authentic folk songs in their works. They also composed expressive themes intended to stir patriotic sentiment, fervour and nostalgia. Several of their scores conjure up national landscapes and legends.
A worthy successor to Smetana, Antonín Dvořák was the most illustrious representative of the Czech national school, holding in it a position similar to Tchaikovsky’s in the Russian school. Czech and more broadly Slavic dance rhythms and melodies tinged with nostalgia abound in Dvořák’s music. He composed in nearly all the musical genres of his era, leaving, among other compositions, a dozen operas, chamber music, choral works, songs, symphonic poems, dances, folklore-inspired rhapsodies and nine symphonies.
Of these last works, the most famous is undoubtedly his Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”. Unfortunately, its immense popularity has tended to push its predecessors into the shadows. Symphonies nos. 7 and 8 nonetheless appear on concert programs around the planet on a fairly regular basis and their musical quality is in no way inferior to that of the better-known ninth. The warm-hearted Symphony No. 8 bathes in a pastoral and lyrical glow, while Symphony No. 7 stands out mainly for its powerful thrust and indomitable spirit.
Though Dvořák’s seventh symphony follows the classical four-movement model established by Haydn, its emotional heft places it closer to the spirit of a symphonic poem relating an epic legend, beginning with the first measures. The opening movement’s second theme betrays Dvořák’s huge admiration for Brahms, his mentor and defender. The following Poco adagio is surely one of the summits of the composer’s art. With its rhythm characteristic of a Czech furiant, the third movement evokes a Slavic dance. All the tension built in the first three movements creates an expectation perfectly met in the savoury and powerful finale with its contrasting episodes. Composed in four months, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 has enjoyed great success since its 1885 premiere.
Premiered in Mexico City on March 5, 1994, by the Orquestra Filarmónica de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México conducted by Francisco Savín
Arturo Márquez, one of the most eminent Mexican composers, discovered music through his father, a mariachi player, and his grandfather, a traditional musician. This early exposure to various musical styles would influence his future works. From the age of 16, while also studying piano, violin, tuba and trombone, Márquez began to compose. Following studies at Mexico’s Conservatorio Nacional de Música with, among others, Federico Ibarra and Joaquín Gutiérrez, Márquez became a student of composer Jacques Castérède in Paris. He subsequently enrolled in the University of California, where he obtained a master’s degree in composition. Márquez is a creator of orchestral works, chamber music, choral music and film scores. Between 1990 and 2004, he composed eight danzones for various instrumental formations, integrating popular-style music with more formal contemporary writing. One of the most famous is the Danzón No. 2.
Evolved from the Cuban habanera, danzones are a dance that has been performed in Mexico’s Veracruz region since the 1800s. Márquez’s Danzón No. 2 takes up the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic features of the traditional dánzon and retains its rondo form. Alternating lyric sequences with colourful and pulsating interventions from the orchestra, the work begins with a sensuous melody played on the clarinet, discreetly accompanied by the claves, piano and pizzicato strings. Sustained by the claves’ obsessive beat, the music gradually builds until it pulls the entire orchestra into an irresistible whirlwind, a kind of apotheosis of the dance.
Saturday, August 5th, 7:30 PMParc Ahuntsic (Ahuntsic-Cartierville)
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