Friday, October 12, 2018, at 7:30 pm at St. Mary Magdalen Church, 25 N. Las Posas Road, Camarillo.
Sunday, October 14, 2018, 3:00 pm, at First United Methodist Church of Ventura, 1338 East Santa Clara Street, Ventura.
CHICO opens its 16th season with Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” Leonard Bernstein’s Candide Overture, the Strauss Serenade for 15 Winds and Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1. performed by Louise Lofquist, a brilliant pianist and professor of music from Pepperdine University.
Dmitri Shostakovich was best known for his ability to convey raw emotion in a visceral way. During his youth, he worked as a silent-film pianist and studied serious music at Lenningrad Conservatory. He could easily please the public but not the Government. He wrote three kinds of music: “official” pieces to appease the Soviets, film music to pay the rent and serious works “for the desk drawer.” The last category includes 15 symphonies, 6 concerti, numerous piano pieces, piano and string ensembles, 3 operas, 3 ballets and several song cycles.
Robert Matthew-Walker wrote album notes for the cover of Shostakovich Piano Concert No. 1.
“With such a polyglot collection of quotations and influences, only a composer of genius could have moulded this variety into a cohesive whole. The miracle is that Shostakovich succeeded, and constructed a distinctive and indestructible work…”
CHICO will also perform Dvorak’s celebrated New World Symphony, a work that portrays indigenous American music and culture.
Antonin Dvorak came from Bohemia to the USA during the early 1890s. A wealthy patron invited him to direct the National Conservatory of Music of America. During the visit, Dvorak also composed the famous American String Quartet.
German composer Richard Strauss is known for his many operas, symphonic poems and instrumental works. Hollywood composers mimicked his leitmotif technique for depicting characters, places and ideas. His tone poem, Also sprach Zarathustra, was used by Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). John Williams employs the same style of rich melodies and lush orchestrations.
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) conducted the New York Philharmonic for many years. He televised “Young People’s Concerts” and wrote numerous show tunes for Broadway, including West Side Story, Peter Pan, On the Waterfront and Wonderful Town. He wrote three symphonies and many chamber and solo works.
CHICO will perform Bernstein’s Candide Overture that was originally written for Broadway. The overture quickly grew popular and became a stand-alone hit. This musical introduction incorporates a number of songs from the show: “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Battle Music,” “Oh, Happy We” and “Glitter and Be Gay.”