Berks Sinfonietta presents the final program in its Digital Concert Series on Saturday, July 24 at 7:30 pm.
The July concert gives Sinfonietta’s winds a real chance to shine in their performance of Mozart’s “Serenade in B-flat Major.” Alternately known as the “Grand Partita,” the music is certainly written in a grand style: a normal Classical work for wind ensemble was written for an octet, by Mozart enlarges the group to pairs of oboes, clarinets, basset horns (a kind of alto clarinet), bassoons and 4 horns, as well as a string bass.
The opening movement begins with an imposing and slow introduction, which shifts effortlessly into a fast and buoyant allegro that could only be by Mozart. His masterful writing provides plenty of opportunity for soloist and ensemble virtuosity throughout, and for many, the third movement Adagio is one of Mozart’s most beautiful creations.
Karel Husa was born in Prague, studying there with Jaroslav Řídký, and in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and Arthur Honegger. In 1954 he moved to the United States, teaching at Cornell University, and conducting several American orchestras. His early “Pastoral for String Orchestra” is reminiscent of similar works for string ensemble favored by 20th century British composers. While his later works embraced a sometimes dissonant, anxious, and terse style, his Pastoral breathes an altogether warmer, sweeter romantic atmosphere.
Michigan-born, Manhattan-based American composer Stephanie Ann Boyd writes melodic music about women’s memoirs and the natural world for symphonic and chamber ensembles. “Beyond the Gates” was commissioned by the JVL Music in Summer Festival of 2011. The composer described her inspiration for the work in the following way: “Every morning we would begin the day by walking down the stone steps from my house that led to an old metal gate. As soon as we walked through the gate, we were able to bear witness to the beauty of the nature beyond. Many magical moments, courtesy of emerald-winged dragonflies landing on the children's hands, black raspberry bushes in full bloom, and willow trees that made the perfect art-camp fairy bower, ensued.” Perfect music for the summer months!
Viewing is free and available to all. Berks Sinfonietta requests donations equaling their normal ticket costs ($15/Adult and $5/Child). This will be the ensemble’s eleventh on- line concert in the past 12 months – these concerts would not have been possible without the support of BCTV readers and listeners!