Introducing Voila Viola! Conductor, soloist and the composer of Viola Concerto No. 2
Richard Davis – Conductor
I am thrilled to be returning to Dunedin and to work with your wonderful symphony orchestra again. I was so impressed with the musicians last year and have created another rich, varied and exciting programme for you. Although we will be focussing on the excellent string section of the DSO – beginning and ending the concert with two very well-known string works – there will also be the opportunity for a few additional instrumentalists to shine in between.
We open the performance with Benjamin Britten’s enduringly popular Simple Symphony with its charming ‘Playful Pizzicato’ movement and passionate ‘Sarabande’. Although this piece was completed at the age of 20, Britten wrote the core of the music between the ages of 9 and 12.
Aaron Copland wrote his ‘Ballet for Martha’ in 1944 and then the dancer, to whom it was dedicated, Martha Graham chose the iconic name – Appalachian Spring. Copland found it amusing how people would come up to him and tell him that he’d perfectly captured the essence of the Appalachian Mountains in spring and yet neither the music nor the story is about Appalachia…or spring! This very popular work is not often heard in its original chamber-orchestra format and you’ll be surprised, because of Copland’s unique compositional style, at how rich it sounds with so few players on stage. This piece ends with the Shaker melody: ‘Simple Gifts’ which you may know as the tune for ‘Lord of the Dance’.
After the interval we welcome the viola virtuoso, Tim Deighton, to perform the world première of New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie’s Viola Concerto No. 2, written especially for Tim and the DSO. And we will end this concert with Tchaikovsky’s mighty Serenade for Strings although we might be offering you a gift of our own – a surprise encore