Manawatu Sinfonia
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Manawatu Youth Orchestra and Sinfonia Concert of Classical Favourites

We are sorry to announce that this concert has been cancelled.



A Lucky Dip of Classical Favourites

A relaxed concert to celebrate the return of the Manawatu Youth Orchestra and the Manawatu Sinfonia to performance after the lockdown!

It will be a concert of two halves, with the Youth Orchestra performing first, followed after the interval by the Sinfonia.

Admission by koha.

Conductor: Isaac Henderson

We will perform the following items:


Ludwig van Beethoven, Egmont Overture
Johannes Brahms, Serenade No.1 in D Major, Movements 1 Allegro molto and 2 Scherzo. Allegro non troppo — Trio. Poco più moto


Alexander Borodin, In the Steppes of Central Asia
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Overture to The Magic Flute
Anthony Ritchie, Underwater Music
Gaetano Donizetti, Sinfonia Concertata in D Major. Largo — Allegro

Programme notes:

Beethoven, Egmont Overture: During 1809 and 1810, Beethoven composed this overture to Goethe’s play Egmont, along with lesser-known incidental music. The theme of the play was to Beethoven's taste, depicting the heroism and death of the count of Egmont, a sixteenth-century Flemish nobleman who led a rebellion against Spanish rule of the Netherlands. The overture starts solemnly but continues more frenetically, reaching its climax with the sword-stroke of the executioner that terminates Egmont's life.

Brahms, Serenade No.1, Movements 1 and 2: Brahms completed his first serenade in 1858. Originally scored for wind and string octet and then expanded into a longer work for chamber nonet, the serenade was adapted for orchestra in December 1859 with the encouragement of Clara Schumann. Brahms benefited from advice on orchestration given by his good friend the violinist and conductor Joseph Joachim. Movement 1 is in pastoral mood, leading off with solo horn. In its themes the movement harks back to Haydn. Movement 2, featuring woodwind solos, is pensive and delicate, evoking the Classical era.

Borodin, In the Steppes of Central Asia: This symphonic poem (or "musical tableau"), composed in 1880 and dedicated to Franz Liszt, depicts a caravan of Central Asians crossing the desert under the protection of Russian troops. After the opening theme, representing the Russians, the strains of an ornamented eastern melody on English horn are heard, representing the Asians. Meanwhile a pizzicato "travelling" theme represents the plodding hoofs of horses and camels. Borodin himself had more than one string to his bow! A notable organic chemist, he was also a promoter of education in Russia, founding and teaching at the School of Medicine for Women in Saint Petersburg.

Mozart, Overture to The Magic Flute: The Magic Flute was premiered on 30 September 1791, with the composer conducting, just nine weeks before his death. The overture is one of marked contrasts. At the beginning and again in the middle, we hear three solemn brass chords. The remainder of the overture, brilliantly written in fugal form, is flighty and energetic. Some critics interpret these contrasts as symbolising respectively the priesthood led by Sarastro and his nemesis the Queen of the Night, principal characters in the opera.

Ritchie, Underwater Music: This piece was composed on a commission from the Auckland Sinfonietta and first performed by them in 1994. Ritchie was asked to make the sea his theme, to reflect the Sinfonietta's concert venue by the beach in Takapuna. The first movement, "Seahorses", captures the seahorses' gently undulating movements, contrasted with the sea's assertive ebb and flow. The second movement, "Stingrays", suggests the slow gliding and flapping motion of the rays through the water. The third movement, "Dolphins", depicts these animals' bold upward-sweeping gestures. A baby dolphin steals the show, concluding the movement with a blow of air from its blowhole. (This note adapted from material published by RNZ.)

Donizetti, Sinfonia Concertata in D Major: Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (1797 – 1848) is best known as a composer of operas. He was second only to Rossini in his lifetime. However, he also composed in symphonic form. His overture-like Sinfonia concertata is a fine rousing example of his work. A conventional slow introduction soon gives way to a vigorous allegro.


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