All performances by NPO are free and open to the public. Join us for our 15th season!
The Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra is excited to announce another ambitious and challenging season of bringing classical orchestral music to a wide range of audiences free of charge. In this 15th season of the orchestra, the NPO will traverse a wide variety of musical eras. Symphonies by Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev join classics by Bach, Brahms, Vaughn Williams, Holst, and Albeniz. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the NPO and the 10th anniversary of conductor and musical director, Dr. Christopher Norton, the orchestra is also commissioning a new work this season. Once again, the final concert pair of the season will feature a new work by the winner of the annual Composition Competition.
DECEMBER 10 and 19, 2017
Serenade to Music:
Brahms, Vaughan Williams, Marquez
Dan Goeller – A Christmas Festival of Carols
Johannes Brahms – Double Concerto for Violin and Cello
Michael Samis, cello and Denise Baker, violin
Ralph Vaughan Williams – Serenade to Music
Jessica Blackwell, violin
NPO Festival Chorus
Amy Grant – Breath of Heaven
Arturo Marquez – Danzón, No. 2
Dan Goeller – Christmas Fantasy
All concerts by the NPO are free and open to the public.
Praised by the eminent English conductor Nicholas McGegan for his “strong and impassioned, yet exquisitely sensitive” solo playing, Michael Samis joins us as guest cellist in Brahms’ final orchestral work, the majestic Double Concerto for Cello and Violin. Nashville Symphony Orchestra member and co-concertmaster of the NPO, Denise Baker, joins him in this virtuosic work demanding two equally matched, brilliant soloists. Initially shunned as “modern” music, the Double Concerto makes the orchestra an equal partner with the solo instruments, an approach that was both conservative and groundbreaking for its time. It rejected the Romantic era indulgence of solo virtuosos and makes for a musical joining of three soloists: violin, cello and orchestra. Pairing violin and cello was also unusual. Brahms uses this combination to create a virtual “super-instrument” with a doubly wide range with passages that extend from the lowest cello note to the top of the violin range. These innovations along with passion and fire of this music make it an exciting work for modern ears.
Ralph Vaughan Williams in his pastoral choral work Serenade to Music sets words from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice discussing earthly music and the music of the spheres. Originally composed for 16 solo voices and orchestra, this version will feature violinist Jessica Blackwell, a quartet of singers and the NPO Festival Chorus. Among the more memorable passages to be sung is this apt section:
“The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov’d with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted.”
Arturo Marquez’ Danzón No. 2 is one of the most popular and most frequently performed orchestral Mexican contemporary classical compositions. Born into a long line of Mexican folk and mariachi musicians, Marquez incorporates musical forms and styles of his native Mexico into his concert works. This fiery Danzón No. 2 draws its inspiration from the music of the Veracruz region. This dance form still thrives in Mexico today, and Marquez described it as “a genre that old Mexican people continue to dance with a touch of nostalgia and a jubilant escape towards their own emotional world.” For him this composition is “…a very personal way of paying my respects and expressing my emotions towards truly popular music.”
We salute the season by opening and closing with contemporary medleys of Christmas carols by Dan Goeller. His colorful orchestrations and accessible compositional style have delighted audiences and performers around the world. A Christmas Festival of Carols is composed in a variety of “classical” styles while Christmas Fantasy is arranged in an epic, film-score style. The NPO Festival Chorus will also perform Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) from the triple-platinum album Home for Christmas by Christian and pop artist extraordinaire Amy Grant.
Read more background in Walter Bitner’s informative blogpost.
Join us for this seasonal spirit-lifter!!
These concerts are generously sponsored by Suntrust Bank and Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Attorneys