New Bristol Sinfonia - Archive
Tonight’s concert starts with Ravel’s Ma Mère L’oye. This was originally written as a piano duet for two children aged 6 and 7, and was based on the stories of Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, The Little Ugly Girl - Empress of the Pagodas, Beauty and the Beast and The Fairy Garden. Ravel loved the innocent world of children, and said of the piece "My intention of invoking the poetry of childhood in these pieces naturally led me to simplify my style and thin out my writing". The first movement spins out a beautiful series of melodies with child-like clarity. The second tells the story of Tom Thumb, lost in the forest because the birds have eaten his trail of crumbs. The third suggests a story set in the Orient, where an empress takes a bath surrounded by pagodas and pagodines singing and playing instruments made of shells. The fourth movement is a conversation between Beauty and the Beast, and the final movement depicts an enchanted garden.
Our second piece is Jake Spence’s Following Paths, Finding Gateways. Jake Spence was born in 1975 and lives in Edinburgh. He describes the experience of composing this piece akin to setting out on a journey into unchartered waters - "Just as I enjoy taking a walk around Edinburgh - exploring streets that are new to me, turning corners and enjoying the surprise, or bearing the disappointment of new sights and sounds - so similarly did I feel when in the process of writing this music". The "paths" in this work are long unwinding melodies; the "gateways" are of many sizes - some opening with a dramatic crescendo heralding the arrival of a new area of harmony, or of a new or familiar melodic strain. The piece uses solo intruments to present the melody, with the rest of the orchestra providing rich colourful harmonies injecting light and wonder into the discovery of new paths behind new gateways.
Our final work is Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9. Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Dvorak was influenced by Native American melodies to shape the work. He considered the second movement as a sketch for a later cantata or opera based on The Song of Haiwatha, and the third as a representation of a feast, where the Indians dance. He was also influenced, at the time, by African-American spirituals and although both combine towards this 'New World Symphony' it is clear that the work stems mostly from the European tradition. With thematic unity, the second and third movements recycle themes from the first, while the end of the piece brings back elements of the preceding three movements.
Date: Saturday 20 November, 2010
Venue: Victoria Rooms, Clifton, Bristol. Click here for a map
- Ravel - Ma Mère L’oye (Mother Goose)
- Jake Spence - Following Paths, Finding Gateways
- Dvorak - Symphony No 9, 'From the New World'
Conductor: James Lowe
Leader: Mark Bunker
We recommend booking in advance with our Box Office: 07796 573869.
Cheques are accepted and there is no booking fee.
Pre-booked tickets will be posted to you or can be picked up at the door.
Most seats for this concert are numbered and can be reserved in advance. Click here to see a seating plan of the Victoria Rooms. The Box Office can advise on which seats are available and which have the best view.
The ticket prices are:
- £13 (£11 concessions) balcony
- £10 adults (£8 concessions) stalls
- £5 students
- £2 children/school parties
James will be presenting a pre-concert talk at 6.45pm. This is open to all and entry is free.
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