Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The sound of education

MCO serves up context to go with concept program of Hadyn, Beethoven

  • Print

The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra offered up an intriguing discourse on the unique relationship between pupil and teacher and master composer and emerging musical genius with its latest concert that juxtaposed two symphonic works by elder composer Haydn and his protégé, Beethoven.

Despite their relationship being fraught with discord, Beethoven's early music displays "Papa" Haydn's influence as well as the seeds of greatness that culminated with his iconic Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, popularly known as the "Choral."

Music Review

Manitoba Chamber Orchestra

  • Westminster United Church
  • Tuesday, October 22
  • Attendance: 650
  • Three stars out of five

Tuesday night's quasi-lecture-demonstration included MCO music director Anne Manson setting up each of the two programmed works, contextualizing with anecdotes, historical snippets, and even a few quotes by music critics of the day. Albeit fascinating, it's a fair guess that many in the crowd of 650 may not have always followed the compare-and-contrast analyses of musical motives, harmonic progressions and thematic material.

The concert opened with Haydn's Symphony No. 103 in E-flat major, the penultimate work of his 12 London Symphonies composed during 1794-95, as well as astonishing canon of 104 symphonies. Nicknamed "The Drumroll," the four-movement work begins with an extended timpani roll that underscores the mostly lighthearted work with ominous tension.

The expanded orchestra -- including added winds, brass and percussion, with the famous roll ably performed by Jeremy Epp -- was a special treat to hear in the intimate venue. Kudos also to concertmaster Karl Stobbe for his gracefully rendered solo during the Andante più tosto allegretto, as he performed the embellished, Croatian folk song-inspired theme with confident, elegant clarity.

The second half of the concert featured Beethoven's Symphony No. 1, in C Major, Op. 21 -- begun the same year as the 1795 Haydn premiere -- that heralded the arrival of a new musical voice during its debut five years later.

After the first movement's Adagio molto introduction, Manson attacked the Allegro con brio with gusto, leading the players through its musical twists and turns, including rugged sforzandi -- this composer's hallmark. Following the Andante cantabile con moto, she then kept a firm baton on the Menuetto that sets off on its own rollicking extrapolation of the opening motives. The orchestra then delivered the finale: Adagio bleeding into the Allegro molto e vivace at lightning speed, earning whoops and a standing ovation for the nail-biting performance.

The MCO has carved out a reputation as one of this country's leading chamber orchestras, with an impressive legacy of artistic risk-taking, including commissioning numerous new works by 21st-century Canadian composers. This particular "concept" program, decidedly conservative despite Manson's enthusiasm, provided an evening of classics for those waxing nostalgic for the 18th century.

holly.harris@shaw.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 24, 2013 C14

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for this week - December 8-12

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that former cabinet minister Theresa Oswald has entered the NDP leadership race, do you believe the "gang of five" rebel ministers were right to publicly criticize Premier Greg Selinger's leadership?

View Results

Ads by Google