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The Metropolitan Orchestra Electrifying Strings

MET#3 2022 – Electrifying Strings

Elgar, Tycho, Puccini, Herrman

Conductor – Sarah-Grace Williams

Soloist – Maria Lindsay (Violin)

Petersham Town Hall

Our Program For Tonight:

Elgar, Edward (1857-1934)Introduction & Allegro Op. 47

Elgar composed two major orchestral works for strings during his compositional career, however there was a significant break of thirteen years between works. This work was composed in 1905, and was premiered by the new London Symphony Orchestra that had been formed just a year earlier in 1904.

The work is based on the Baroque concerto grosso form, with a string quartet (concertino) and string orchestra (ripieno). Unlike the traditional Baroque form however, the quartet is more closely embedded within the string orchestra, and solos move seamlessly between the quartet and orchestra. The impressive virtuosic demands of the quartet parts displays not only the traditional upper string flamboyance, but again consistent with the concerto grosso form, impressive feats of technical mastery in the celli and basses often performing the same daring parts.

© Andrew Doyle 2022

Tycho, Tommy (1928-2013)  Violin Concerto

Violin Soloist – Maria Lindsay

This violin concerto is a rare opportunity for an audience to experience not only the music of one of Australia’s most important composers, but to hear the concerto performed by the soloist that he dedicated it to. Maria Lindsay premiered Tycho’s violin concerto in April 2010, almost ten years after he had composed it.

In 2008, the Hungarian-born Australian composer Tommy Tycho had a stroke that left his left side paralysed and required brain surgery. Tommy remarked:

“I thought – and so did the neurosurgeon – that it would affect me musically, but fortunately it didn’t, which is a miracle … The brain is still working 100 per cent … I still have got my inner hearing.”

Interlaced with a variety of themes, there are influences from Tycho’s native Hungary, as well as Persian and Russian themes from when Tycho was personal pianist to the Shah of Iran. A hauntingly beautiful concerto, this work has earned an important place in Australia’s core violin repertoire.

© Andrew Doyle, 2022

Puccini , Giacomo (1858-1924)I Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums)

Puccini formed a close friendship with King Amadeo (di Savoia) I of Spain, the second son of the Italian King Vittorio Emanuel II, who assumed the throne in 1868 following the Glorious Revolution. Amadeo abdicated in 1873, and returned to Italy where in January 1890, he died at the age of just 44.

In one subsequent evening in January 1890, in his grief, Puccini composed an elegy for his friend Amadeo di Savoia, naming it after the tradition Italian flower of mourning, Cristemi (chrysanthemum). Initially composed for string quartet, this work is regularly performed by string orchestra.

While composed early in his career, Puccini’s fondness for Cristemi saw the themes re-emerge in Acts III and IV of his opera Manon Lescaut, which he composed a few years later in 1893.

© Andrew Doyle, 2022

Herrmann, Bernard (1911-1975) Psycho: A Narrative for String Orchestra

Before his collaboration with Hitchcock, Bernard Herrmann had written several scores for radio and film. He worked with Orson Welles and wrote the music for “The War of the Worlds” and, later, “Citizen Kane.” Herrmann’s music was also heard on dozens of television programs, including “The Twilight Zone.” He died in 1975, just after completing the score to “Taxi Driver.” But perhaps his most enduring and best-known work was done with Alfred Hitchcock, and Bernard Herrmann’s score for “Psycho” has come to epitomize suspense and terror.

Bernard Herrmann composed this work in 1960 to mirror the stark black and white images from Alfred Hitchock’s film Psycho. Despite being requested by Hitchcock to not compose any music for the (in)famous murder in the shower scene, Herrmann followed his own instincts and composed accompanying music regardless. Upon hearing the music after a recording session, Hitchcock corrected his ‘improper suggestion’, and the stabbing, shrieking violins have conveyed terror to the world ever since.

In 1968, while living in London, Herrmann drew together the series of raw film cues and unpublished manuscripts, and prepared a performing edition of the music from Psycho. The music took on its own identity as a concert work and was able to be performed as Herrmann intended – an independent composition that was free of the original visual accompaniment from the film.

© Andrew Doyle 2022

Our Artists For This Evening

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.

Violin Soloist – Maria Lindsay. Click Here To Read Maria’s Bio.

The Musicians Performing Tonight :

Concertmaster ^Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich

Violin: Dominique Guerbois, Elena Tabolkina, Nan Heo, Denisa Smeu-Kirileanu, Dawid Botha, Justin Li, Stephanie Hill

Second Violin: *Catrina Hughes, Lindsay Irik, Bree Baxter, Clare Fulton, Elisabetta Sonego, Katrina Papallo, Jennifer Mee, Naomi Warr

Viola: *Robyn Botha, Liz D’Olier, Monique Turner, William d’Avigdor

Cello: *Ezmi Pepper, Caroline Otto, Julienne Guerbois, Sarah-Ingham, Lily Innis

Bass: *Mark Szeto, Jessica Holmes, Eric Hutchens

^ Concert Master

* Principal

# Acting Principal

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