The Cowichan Consort presents a memorable evening of Beethoven and Brahms music, Saturday, Nov. 3 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Christian Reformed Church on Trunk Road.
Yvonne Gillespie, much sought after pianist in the Cowichan Valley, will perform as soloist in the Choral Fantasy by Beethoven with the choir and orchestra.
Also featured will be Discovery Elementary School’s Chamber Singers directed by Odette Williams, who will perform alone and with the adult choir.
The program, conducted by Robert Mari, is completed with the Symphony No. 2 by Brahms.
According to Consort publicist, Joy Ann Bannerman, this Brahms symphony is often “twinned” to the Pastoral Symphony #6 by Beethoven, both beautiful, melodic romantic works. The four-note theme opens the first movement and one will hear the french horns playing stirring melodic lines throughout.
Dated in 1877, written in D major, Brahms uses melodious gypsy music and folk tunes. The last movement is cheerful, exuberant, and gives a triumphant closure.
Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy Op.80 was first performed in 1808 along with the premieres of his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. Needing a brilliant finale, he wanted a single work for chorus, piano, and orchestra; Beethoven himself played the piano part. The opening solo offers an improvisational style which he did improvise at the premiere.
(Imagine hearing Beethoven improvising for you as you sat in your concert seat!)
Using the form of variations on a theme, the variations found in the Choral Fantasy are considered the early version of his familiar Ninth Symphony variation theme ‘Ode to Joy’.
In addition, Consort conductor Robert Mari has arranged the familiar song, ‘The Water is Wide’, and composed a processional entrance chant called ‘Contemplation Chant’ for the adult choir and the children’s voices. Yvonne Gillespie has arranged the popular song ‘No Man Is An Island’, which both choirs will sing together, accompanied by the orchestra.
Tickets are available from members, at the door, and Volume One Bookstore on Kenneth Street. Adults get in for $20 and students under 18 for $10.