Elgar Cello Concerto with cellist Christopher Pidcock. National Capital Orchestra, cnducted by Leonard Weiss. Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, Sunday, August 5, 3pm. Pre-concert talk by Chloe Sinclair at 2.15pm. theq.net.au.
The National Capital Orchestra's third concert for 2018 features a world premiere performance by Canberra composer Chloe Sinclair and three classic British works by Edward Elgar, Gustave Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The concert opens with Holst’s A Somerset Rhapsody, for orchestra, Op. 21/2, H. 87, weaving together three folk melodies found in collections by folk-song collector Cecil Sharpe (to whom the work is dedicated) evoking images of the British countryside.
Conductor and artistic director Leonard Weiss says award-winning Canberra cellist Christopher Pidcock - a member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra since 2012 with an international reputation - will be the soloist in Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85. Weiss says, "it's probably the most iconic and timeless cello concerto" since the one by Antonin Dvorak.
Elgar wrote his concerto in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I, which contributed to what Weiss describes as its "superbly dark, brooding and emotionally intense" tone.
He thinks Pidcock in the performance will show "how shades of light and dark can be manipulated".
Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 8 in D minor (1953-55) is, by contrast, "pastoral and very happy", Weiss says, adding that "the language is really amazing". The symphony uses an expanded percussion section and the two central movements use only the winds and the strings, respectively.
"You see a lot of 'cinematic' writing in the way he chose to develop different events and different scenes."
The symphony harks back to the First World War and the composer's experiences during that conflict with some reflective and emotional passages, Weiss says, and it shows a more adventurous and experimental side to his work.
The NCO, which is a frequent performer of new Australian works, will also feature the premiere of a piece by Sinclair with (at the time of writing) the working title Autonomy.
Weiss, describing Sinclair as "a rising star in the composition scene", says, "it's a privilege for me to give any world premiere: the music is not known and it's such an event for her as a composer to hear her work performed for the first time by an orchestra."