Monday, 22 November 2010 13:46
Unexpected intrusion during a passage of quietude is seen as a humorous joke
Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony
Internationally recognized for his intelligent interpretation of works by J.S. Bach, Russian pianist Sergei Babayan makes his ESO debut performing a noble concerto by the composer with your Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. In the second Midweek Classics concert of the season, Resident Conductor Lucas Waldin also leads the orchestra through contrasting masterpieces by Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony, with its famous practical joke, completes the concert program at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music.
Sergei Babayan’s performances reveal an emotional intensity and bold energy. “One would be hard put to name a Bach interpreter of his standing today. Babayan is no mere pianist. He is a master-musician for whom the piano is his voice, his orchestra,” claims The Scotsman News. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D minor, a testament to the composer’s masterful abilities at the keyboard, is marked with vigour and panache that will showcase Mr. Babayan’s range of virtuosic devices.
Haydn’s Symphony in G Major, the second of twelve so-called London Symphonies, derived its nickname from a rather large “impact” during the second movement. Perhaps intended to wake those who nodded off during the subdued melodies of the work’s first movement, the sudden, explosive fortissimo chord is the most famous of all of Haydn’s musical jokes.
Three Characteristic Pieces – the satirical Mazurka, mysterious Serenade mauresque, and imaginative Gavotte – provide interesting insight into Elgar’s progress towards becoming a highly regarded composer. Taking its name from the original composer of the hymn tune that serves as the main melody, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is considered his first indisputable masterpiece.
Ticket prices for this Midweek Classics performance range from $20 – $65. Call the Winspear Centre Box Office at (780) 428-1414, toll-free 1-800-563-5081, or purchase online
The next performance in the Midweek Classics series takes place January 26th, 2011. Edmonton-born violinist Andrew Wan and ESO violist Charles Pilon perform Mozart’s last concerted work for string instruments, Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola.
Thank you to our series media sponsor Espace Musique, and to Enbridge for their support of our Resident Conductor Program.