Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Final concert of season this Sunday

Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique,” conducted by WSO music director Alexander Mickelthwate, showcases WSO associate concertmaster, Karl Stobbe, as soloist in Prokofiev’s “Violin Concerto No.1.”

Enlarge Image

Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique,” conducted by WSO music director Alexander Mickelthwate, showcases WSO associate concertmaster, Karl Stobbe, as soloist in Prokofiev’s “Violin Concerto No.1.” (SUBMITTED)

Alexander Mickelthwate is the WSO’s music director.

Enlarge Image

Alexander Mickelthwate is the WSO’s music director. (NARDELLA PHOTOGRAPHY)

Karl Stobbe will play a solo in Prokofiev’s “Violin Concerto No.1.”

Enlarge Image

Karl Stobbe will play a solo in Prokofiev’s “Violin Concerto No.1.” (ANDREW SIKORSKY)

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra visits the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium this Sunday for the fourth and final concert in its 2012-13 WSO in Brandon season.

Berlioz’s "Symphonie fantastique," conducted by WSO music director Alexander Mickelthwate, showcases WSO associate concertmaster, Karl Stobbe, as soloist in Prokofiev’s "Violin Concerto No.1."

The concert begins with "Le Tombeau de Couperin" by Maurice Ravel.

In 1917, Ravel’s emotional state was turbulent. Anguished by the First World War and shocked by the final illness and death of his mother, Ravel turned to what had always been an antidote for him during difficult times, the emotional and intellectual comfort of French culture and tradition.

The original piano setting of this work combined a dedication of each movement to one of Ravel’s friends that had fallen on the battlefield, with a look-back to the musical style of the French Baroque era. Composer François Couperin (1668-1733) had produced music in memory of friends, giving it the name "tombeau" (tombstone). This too became Ravel’s path.

Highly engaging in its charm, one would not suspect that "Le Tombeau de Couperin" is a work springing from any kind of personal turmoil, especially in the orchestral version.

As a brash young composer, Serge Prokofiev vowed that expecting the unexpected would be central to his music.

Juggling simultaneous projects in different styles — whether lyrical, modern, neo-classical or other — the kind of composer he was perceived as proved elusive, no more so than in his "Violin Concerto No. 1" whose anticipation of something spiky and modern at the premiere surprised everyone, turning out to be one of the composer’s most lyrical offerings.

The performance concludes with "Symphonie fantastique," composed by Hector Berlioz.

Arch Romantic that he was, Berlioz was so taken with English actress Harriet Smithson when he saw her as Juliet and Ophelia in 1827, he wrote her frantic letters of love over the next three years despite never meeting her. The romance was entirely one-sided — she, fearing a potential stalker in Berlioz and he, wandering the countryside in despair of such unrequited love.

With Romantic nerve endings on fire, in 1830 Berlioz planned a new symphony with the subtitle "Episode from the Life of an Artist." In it the artist views his love through an opium-enhanced state, first in his dreams, then a ball, the countryside, at his execution and finally joining a witches’ Sabbath.

Running through it all would be an idée fixe — a singular musical theme signifying Harriet that would morph from the innocent to the grotesque in parody at the end. Berlioz did marry Harriet in 1833, but their happiness quickly dissolved and they were estranged within a decade.

"Symphonie fantastique" is a tour de force in its vivid program content, bend-without-break melodies, dazzling orchestration and overall trailblazing from materials essentially derived from classical models. Its popularity among the most beloved symphonies in the literature remains undiminished.

Sunday’s concert begins at 3 p.m. at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium. The pre-concert chat in the lobby begins at 2:15 p.m.

Single tickets are available at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium at (204) 728-9510 or wmca.ca.

» Submitted

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 15, 2013

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra visits the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium this Sunday for the fourth and final concert in its 2012-13 WSO in Brandon season.

Berlioz’s "Symphonie fantastique," conducted by WSO music director Alexander Mickelthwate, showcases WSO associate concertmaster, Karl Stobbe, as soloist in Prokofiev’s "Violin Concerto No.1."

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra visits the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium this Sunday for the fourth and final concert in its 2012-13 WSO in Brandon season.

Berlioz’s "Symphonie fantastique," conducted by WSO music director Alexander Mickelthwate, showcases WSO associate concertmaster, Karl Stobbe, as soloist in Prokofiev’s "Violin Concerto No.1."

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media