It might be winter, but the halls of Concordia College are filled with the sweet sounds of music as the Concordia Symphony puts the finishing touches on its winter concert Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Robert Tegler Centre.
The full complement of more than 60 accomplished musicians — students, alumni and members of the community at large — will play. With varying degrees of expertise, St. Albert’s ambassadors include Andre Stuart (violin), Ann Ree (violin), Dennis Lazarowich (cello), Matt Lazarowich (string bass), Laurie Stalker (cello) and retired Edmonton Symphony Orchestra tuba player David Otto.
“They have excellent listening skills. They play not as individuals, but as a team and they make beautiful music,” says conductor Francis Dunning.
He has waved the baton since 2002 and compiled a 70-minute concert that includes a sitting with renowned cellist Josephine van Lier performing Tchaikovski’s Variations on a Rococo Theme.
As the story goes, explains Dunnigan, Tchaikovsky wrote a theme and seven variations. But German cellist Wilhelm Fitzhaugen rearranged the variations in a different order and musicians adopted this new sequence as the standard.
However, van Lier, backed by the symphony, intends to play Tchaikovsky’s original string. “She’s a bit of a purist. She wanted to do the original and she wanted to do something different,” Dunnigan says.
In addition, the symphony features Sergei Prokofiev’s Lieutenant KijÄ‚Â© Suite and Felix Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony. The longest piece at 26 minutes is the four-movement Italian Symphony.
While the first movement spurts quickly under the woodwinds, the second movement’s underlying rhythm “goes from one instrument to the other — almost like walking through the orchestra.”
The third movement is light and happy with a wonderful section for bass and bassoon followed by the last movement’s “fast-running passages on the strings.”
And finally, Prokofiev’s KijÄ‚Â© Suite, written for the 1934 Russian film Lieutenant KijÄ‚Â©, was also used as a score for ballet. “It’s different in that we use a tenor saxophone. It does use a harp and percussion and it does use piano.”
“This orchestra has so many different instruments you can produce so many different colours. It’s good quality and good value for your money.”
Concordia Symphony with special guest Josephine van Lier<br />Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.<br />Robert Tegler Centre<br />73 St. and 112 Ave.<br />Tickets: $12 adults, $10 students/seniors<br />Call 780-420-1757 or visit www.tixonthesquare.ca