Sensitive violinist Stefan Jackiw plays Mendelssohn in Duncan with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. (Submitted)

VIDEO: Romance is on the menu as Cowichan Symphony season opens Oct. 4

Concertgoers will enjoy lyrical, lovely music by Mendelssohn and Schumann

The Cowichan Symphony Society presents the Victoria Symphony Orchestra in a romantic, lyrical, and dramatic concert Friday, Oct. 4 starting at 7:30 p.m.

In an evening featuring Giordano Bellincampi conducting and solo violinist Stefan Jackiw, music lovers will enjoy a concert of Weber, Mendelssohn, and Schumann.

Jackiw, praised for his sensitive playing, is making his Victoria Symphony debut with this concert, performing Mendelssohn’s lyrical Concerto for Violin.

This is one of the most frequently performed violin concertos.

Interestingly, Mendelssohn, who was conducting the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, was thinking of his own concertmaster when he composed the work. The men had been good friends since they were teenagers. Apparently, the composer had first mentioned writing a violin concerto as early as 1838, but it was not completed until 1844.

Mendelssohn followed standard usage for the piece, but adapted those to better suit both his own tastes and the changing times. He introduced the solo instrument almost immediately and included a written-out solo cadenza instead of allowing the violinist to follow his own whims, which was the common practice at the time.

The other work on offer in this concert is Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 2.

The composer was up against it in the mid-1840s.

“I sketched it at a time when I was ailing, and I may well state that it was, as it were, the power of resistance of spirit that has influenced my work, and by which I have tried to prevail against my physical condition,” he said.

One of the symptoms of his illness was apparently feeling acute physical pain when he listened to music, saying, “it cuts into my nerves as with knives.”

That’s bad enough for someone who loves to listen to music but for a working composer, it was torture and his finishing the work shows plenty of grit.

Tickets for this concert are $50 each but there are reductions to $30 for anyone willing to sit in rows A, B, and C and anyone who can organize a group of 10 or more will see those tickets reduced to $30 as well. Students get in for $10 each.

Go to to reserve online or call 250-748-7529 to book by phone.

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