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MET#1 2023 – Reminiscing


Conductor – Sarah-Grace Williams

Soloist – Andrew Doyle (Clarinet)

Marrickville Town Hall

Sunday March 5th, 3:30pm

** There will be no interval for this performance. **

Acknowledgment Of Country

The Metropolitan Orchestra acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal custodians of the land.

We acknowledge this is a country of which the members and elders of the local Aboriginal communities have been custodians for many centuries, and on which these people have performed age-old ceremonies.

The Metropolitan Orchestra acknowledges and pays our respects to the Gadigal and Wangal peoples of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Our Program For This Afternoon:

Mendelssohn, Felix (1809-1847)String Symphony No. 10 in B minor Dream

Born in 1809, the year of composition of this string serenade (1823), makes its musical significance even more remarkable. The young boy of just 14 completed composition of this work in May of 1823, and it is uncertain as to whether this was intended as a single or multi-movement work, and whether this is the only surviving movement. The eldest and arguably most talented son of wealthy parents, young Felix composed a series of twelve string symphonie(tta)s for salon concerts in their Berlin home.

For five years prior to composing this work, Mendelssohn studied composition with the esteemed tutor Carl Friedrich Zelter, from whom he learnt the fundamental musical ideals of late 18th century music. The structure of the piece begins with a Haydn-esque slow introduction, which is followed by the typical drama and flair that was to become synonymous with all of the young composer’s later compositions. While he used traditional late 18th century harmonic progressions in this work, his use of the different string colours is remarkable for a composer of such a young age. The symphony composed at such a young age already displays the virtues that led his peers such as Robert Schumann to refer to him ‘the first musician of the day’.

© Andrew Doyle, 2023

Graeme Koehne (1956 – ) Time is a River

Australian composer Graeme Koehne is renowned for writing music that is exceptionally expressive, and his ability to convey emotion is never more evident than in Time is a River, a work composed in 2010 for clarinet and string quartet in memory of his mother.

Koehne wrote of the work:
The string quartet is the ‘river’, pursuing its relentless course, by turns gentle, swirling, turbulent and free-flowing. The clarinet represents some form of persona – a soul, if you like – that is carried along by the flow of the strings, pursuing its own diverse range of characters: melancholic, reflective, playful, ecstatic, capricious, finally reaching a state of acquiescence or acceptance.

This performance expands the string quartet into a full string orchestra, with the flow of the ‘river’ rich and full beneath the floating clarinet lines. The music moves effortlessly between slow and soulful to nimble and virtuosic, exploring the entire range of the clarinet to create a persona capable of overcoming all of life’s challenges to find inner peace and serenity.

© Andrew Doyle, 2023

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich (1840 – 1893)Souvenir de Florence Op. 70

Enigma: Andante

  1. Allegro con spirit
  2. Adagio cantabile e con moto
  3. Allegretto moderato
  4. Allegro vivace

Owing to his great popularity as a composer in Russia, Tchaikovsky was elected for honorary membership to join the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society in 1886. The Society requested th Tchaikovsky compose a piece for its members, but it wasn’t until a trip to Florence in 1890 that he discovered suitable inspiration for this new string sextet. Tchaikovsky had a lengthy stay in Florence, where he composed the majority of his opera Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), however the Souvenir de Florence that he took home with him was a beautiful melody that evolved into the slow, second movement.

Despite dedicating a great deal of time and energy to finish this piece for the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society, Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother:

I started working on it three days ago and am writing with difficulty, handicapped by lack of ideas and the new form. One needs six independent but, at the same time, homogenous voices. This is frightfully difficult. Haydn never managed to conquer this problem and never wrote anything but quartets for chamber music.

The initial version of the Souvenir de Florence was performed at a very private reading of the St Petersburg Chamber Music Society, and the result was far from successful. Tchaikovsky spent until 1892 working on the sextet, where the revised public premiere was received with great enthusiasm. Orchestrated initially for pairs of violins, violas and celli, the work was expanded for string orchestra.

The first movement is typically Classical in both structure and sound, being in sonata form. The Souvenir de Florence forms the melody in the Adagio cantabile e con moto second movement, which is followed by a lively, contrasting Scherzo for the third movement. This lively feel continues with the energetic Allegro Vivace finale which contains influences of traditional Slavic folk melodies, and rounds out with a boisterous and energetic coda to conclude the work.

© Andrew Doyle, 2023

Our Artists For This Performance:

The Metropolitan Orchestra – Click Here To Read TMO’s Biography.

Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams. Click Here To Read Sarah-Grace’s Bio.

This Evening’s Soloists (click on the name to read their bio): Andrew Doyle

The Musicians Of The Metropolitan Orchestra On Stage Are:

Concertmaster ^Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich

First Violin: *Dominique Guerbois, Caroline Kelly, Kathryn Crossing, Elena Tabolkina, Dominic Meagher, Denisa Smeu-Kirileanu, Justin Li, Sarah Qiu

Second Violin: *Catrina Hughes, Breeana Baxter, Katherine Finch, Christina Mills, Jennifer Mee, Clare Fulton, Amy Cohen, Stephanie Colomb, Joshua Kok, Victoria Giles

Viola: #Seola Lee, Monique Turner, Liz D’Olier, Eda Talu, Kirsten James, Jonathan Karanikas, Julian Kwok

Cello: *John Benz, Caroline Otto, Julienne Guerbois, Lily Innis

Bass: *Mark Szeto, Jessica Holmes, Nicole Murray-Prior

^ Concert Master

* Principal

# Acting Principal

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