Spring Concerts, 2016

“Life Cycles”, the season finale of the Nashua Chamber Orchestra, conducted by David Feltner, will be held on Saturday, June 4th, at Nashua Community College, and Sunday, June 5th, at the Milford Town Hall. Cellist Carolyn Regula, a Nashua native, is the featured soloist. She will be performing the Davidov Cello Concerto No. 1. The program also includes Beethoven’s Prometheus Overture, Mozart Symphony No. 40, and Cycles, a world premiere by David Feltner. Dates and times:

SATURDAY, JUNE 4th, 7:30PM; Nashua Community College, Judd Gregg Hall; 505 Amherst Street

SUNDAY, JUNE 5TH, 7:30PM; Milford Town Hall, 1 Union Square on the Milford Oval

Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance at Darrell’s Music Hall in Nashua, and the Toadstool Bookstore in Lorden Plaza, Milford, or on line at the web site: www.nco-music.org Prices are $18 adult, $15 senior, and $8 student; children under 12, free. For more information, check the web site at www.nco-music.org or phone (603) 582-5211.

Nashua native Carolyn Regula began her cello studies at age 8, and has amassed prestigious awards, performing as a soloist since age 15. She attended the College of Fine Arts at Boston University, graduating in May, 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Cello Performance, Music Theory and Composition. She received the Academic Excellence Award for having the highest GPA in her class. Ms. Regula makes her debut with the NCO in a performance of the Davidov Cello Concerto No. 1. Karl Davidov (1838—1889), the most influential cellist of the nineteenth century, made his solo debut performing his own B Minor Cello Concerto. An innovator in cello technique, Davidov composed four cello concertos and numerous chamber works for the cello. His compositions had a huge impact on the development of cello playing. Davidov played a 1711 Stradivarius cello that is now performed on by Yo-Yo Ma. The Concerto in B minor is a soulful, lyrical piece, epitomizing the Romantic era with its expressive, fluid melodies.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770—1827) ballet,The Creatures of Prometheus, was his first theatre work, completed in 1801. Although the ballet is rarely performed today, the Overture is part of the standard repertoire. The Prometheus myth is among the most central to Ancient Greek religion. Prometheus incurred the wrath of Zeus by stealing fire from the gods in order to uplift humankind. The Overture is concise, powerful, and unmistakably Beethoven. Consisting of a slow introduction followed by an allegro, its most distinguishing feature is the outrageous opening chord, containing a seventh in the bass. Three more chords follow, descending chromatically in the bass with contrary motion in the upper voices, before resolving to the dominant. With this masterful opening, Beethoven, the ingenious innovator, defies musical convention and displays his towering sense of drama.

In a burst of creative inspiration, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756—1791) composed his three last symphonies during a six-week period in the summer of 1789. Perhaps more profound than its counterparts, Symphonies No. 39 and 41, the Symphony No. 40 in G Minor is a remarkable fusion of contrasts: unrestrained passion and formal elegance, inconsolable sorrow and triumphant joy, darkness and light. Suffused with drama and seething with restless agitation, Mozart’s prolific motifs bounce back and forth, sustained by underlying driving rhythmic patterns. The Symphony hovers on the threshold of Classical expression, with forays into the Romantic. No words on any page can convey its turbulent longing; its compelling musical intensity penetrates the recesses of mind. A contemporary review of an 1804 performance declares: “However often the work is heard, it never fails in its effect — every time, it grips the listener irresistibly and sweeps him along in its train.”

Frustrated by the revving of motorcycles competing incongruously with the music played by the NCO in its Milford Town Hall concerts, music director David Feltner adopted the adage, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Said the conductor-composer: “Why not just embrace it and incorporate these sounds into a new piece?” As a multi-dimensional performance piece, Cycles will use a mix of live motorcycle sounds and orchestral instruments mimicking those sounds, along with echoes of some favorite songs of the open road. Local bikers are invited to join in.

Chamber Music Gala and Silent Auction, 2016

Come celebrate spring with a delightful afternoon of beautiful chamber music in an idyllic setting. The Annual Gala Concert and Silent Auction of the Nashua Chamber Orchestra will be held on Sunday, April 10th at 3:00, at the LaBelle Winery in Amherst. This unique annual event will feature the Aryaloka String Quartet, joined by guest artist David Feltner, viola (and conductor of the NCO), in an eclectic program of music by Haydn, Glazunov, Gershwin and Brahms, enhanced by fine wine (cash bar) and hors d’oeuvres. The silent auction offers an array of unusual crafts by local artists, at reasonable prices.

The Aryaloka Quartet took its name from the Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newcastle, New Hampshire, where the Quartet made its debut. Aryaloka is Sanskrit for “in the abode of the noble ones”. The Quartet believes that while playing the music of great composers, they truly are in the presence of the noble ones, and that a performance of great chamber works can be a spiritual experience for both the performers and the listeners. The quartet strives for a journey of discovery through the music and hopes to give each listener a chance to be free to find her/his own meaning in each piece. The music will be enhanced by the beautiful scenery and relaxed setting of the La Belle Winery, overlooking serene hills covered in grapevines.

Tickets for this fundraiser are $30, and may be purchased at the door or in advance at Darrell’s Music Hall in Nashua and The Toadstool Bookstore in Lorden Plaza, Milford, or online at www.nco-music.org For more information, phone Jackie at (603) 582-5211.

Winter Concerts, 2016

The Nashua Chamber Orchestra, David Feltner, music director, will present their winter concert, “From Shore to Shore”, on February 20th and 21st, featuring the talented young soloist, Yasmin Soorayah Myers, performing Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No. 5. The program also includes Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave), Molly on the Shore, by Percy Grainger, Camille Saint-Saëns' Prelude to Le Déluge, and Variations on an American Folk Song, by living composer Robert Edward Smith. The two performance dates are:

SATURDAY, FEB. 20th, 7:30PM; Nashua Community College, Judd Gregg Hall; 505 Amherst Street

SUNDAY, FEB. 21st, 3:00PM; Milford Town Hall, 1 Union Square on the Milford Oval

Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance at Darrell’s Music Hall in Nashua, and the Toadstool Bookstore in Lorden Plaza, Milford, or on line at the web site: www.nco-music.org. Prices are $18 adult, $15 senior, and $8 student; children under 12, free. For more information, check the web site at www.nco-music.org or phone (603) 582-5211.

Percy Grainger (1882--1961), a colorful, controversial figure who defied convention, moved to the U.S. from London in 1914, establishing himself as a concert pianist and composer. As Dean of Music at New York University (1932), he built a reputation as an experimenter, putting jazz on the syllabus. Molly on the Shore (1907) is an arrangement of two contrasting Irish reels, written for string orchestra. The fiddlers take turns playing the themes and bouncing them off one another, creating a variety of sonorities and textures with intertwined voices. As the fiddlers play, Molly comes into view, skipping to the jazzy beat, dancing on the sandy shore with exuberance and abandon, red hair flying.

Camille Saint-Saëns’ (1835--1921) Prelude to Le Déluge (The Flood), Opus 45, continues the water theme, but with a stark contrast from playful to serious. Saint-Saëns’ oratorio, Le Déluge, is based on the biblical story of Noah and the flood. Written in 1875 for string orchestra, chorus and soloists, it is rarely performed today. The Prelude begins with a slow introduction in minor, followed by a fugue in the style of Bach, establishing a mood of gravitas. The final contrasting section in major features a solo violin weaving warm, lyrical melody as the mood changes to hope and optimism.

Camille Saint-Saëns was one of the great child prodigies in music, performing all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas at age ten. A prolific composer of Romantic works, he chose lyric forms in the Germanic tradition. He established the importance of instrumental music in France. A student of humanistic and scientific disciplines, he published writings on philosophy, botany, biology and history.

Belgian composer Henri Vieuxtemps (1820--1881) was a nineteenth century musical archetype that no longer exists: the virtuoso instrumentalist composer. Of his seven violin concertos, the fifth is the most popular, with its soulful melodies and bursts of fiery virtuoso displays. Vieuxtemps wrote his Violin Concerto No. 5 in A minor, Op. 37 (1858--59) as the test piece for a competition at the Brussels Conservatory. A synthetic work, it has a one-movement structure, divided into an opening allegro with cadenza, a brief adagio and a minuscule finale. From melancholy musings to passionate exuberance, the sweet voice of the violin hearkens back to that lost world of nineteenth century Romanticism.

Yasmin Sooraya Myers of Amherst, New Hampshire, is hardly your typical eighth grader. Beginning her violin studies at age 3, she was winning awards and competitions by age nine. Yasmin has performed at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, in Symphony Hall, Boston, and for the Governor of New Hampshire. She has served as concertmaster or assistant concertmaster in various youth orchestras in Boston. She attends the summer program of the Meadowmount School of Music, studying with internationally acclaimed teachers. She is currently a student of Elliott Markow. Yasmin also enjoys swimming, reading, art and dance. Her lush, beautiful tone and sparkling virtuoso technique bring luster and nuance to this favorite Vieuxtemps concerto.

Picture a sea grotto off the stormy, grey coast of Scotland: a cavern in which the massive forms of basalt pillars resound with tempestuous swells of waves. This forbidding ambience etched itself into Felix Mendelssohn’s mind, and emerged transformed into the realm of music as The Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave). The instrumental parts with their rising and falling lines seem to paint the rolling seas. Mendelssohn (1809--1847) received early musical training at the Berlin Singakademie, thanks to his affluent parents who recognized his talent. A precocious young composer, he had over forty works to his credit by age eleven. At sixteen, he composed his overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, immediately recognized as a work of genius. In 1829, on a trip to Britain, Mendelssohn and his friend, the poet Carl Klingemann, visited the Hebrides archipelago and braved choppy seas to row to the mouth of Fingal’s Cave, with its imposing basalt pillars, inspiring him to write a theme that would evolve into the famous concert overture. This genre, of which Mendelssohn is the acknowledged master, stands as a work alone that depicts a mood and sets a scene, a musical tone poem. The Hebrides Overture with its contrasting themes evokes the stunning beauty of the scene, along with mystery and solitude.

Robert Edward Smith’s Variations on an American Folk Song was inspired by the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. “...like most Americans, I was in a mixed emotional state of patriotic fervor, fear and anger. ... I... wanted to... compose a piece that was typically American, and which expressed the unique kind of determined optimism Americans possess, even in the face of disaster.” He decided to write a set of variations on an American folk song. Searching through volumes of American folk songs, the composer found one listed simply as “folk song from Kentucky”, that appealed to him. “I am very fond of this tune. I like it because it is beautiful and strange.” Through imaginative orchestration and tonal colors, Smith imbues the tune with a life of its own. “The variations are like events in that life, some cheerful, others sorrowful.” After the tune has been through all its experiences, it emerges “confident and strong, and ... ends with an expression of triumphant joy.”

This work received its world premiere in 2005, by the Nashua Chamber Orchestra.

Fall Concerts, 2015

The Nashua Chamber Orchestra under the direction of David Feltner, is pleased to announce its opening concert of its 2015--2016 season, “War and Remembrance”. The program includes works by von Suppé, Dittersdorf, Haydn and Fauré. Featured soloist Josep Quer Agustí, from Spain, will perform the Concerto No. 2 for Double Bass, by Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf. The Nashua Choral Society will collaborate with the NCO for the Fauré Requiem. The two performance dates are:

SATURDAY, NOV. 7th, 7:30PM; Nashua Community College, Judd Gregg Hall; 505 Amherst Street

SUNDAY, NOV. 8th, 3:00PM; Milford Town Hall, 1 Union Square on the Milford Oval

Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance at Darrell’s Music Hall in Nashua, and the Toadstool Bookstore in Lorden Plaza, Milford, or on line at the web site: www.nco-music.org. Prices are $18 adult, $15 senior, and $8 student; children under 12, free. For more information, check the web site at www.nco-music.org or phone (603) 582-5211.

FREE ADMISSION FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE SERVICE MEMBERS, WITH MILITARY ID.

Gabriel Fauré composed his Requiem in D Minor in the late 1880s and revised it in the 1890s, finishing it in 1900. It is the best known of his large works, and differs from other famous Requiems in its pervasive atmosphere of tranquility, without the bombastic drama that is heard in the Requiems of Verdi or Brahms. Fauré said: “Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.” The Requiem, based on the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead, consists of seven movements, composed for chorus and orchestra and featuring a baritone and a soprano soloist. Notable is the absence of violins. The lower strings, violas, cellos and bass, lend a darker, deeper dimension. Fauré’s words, again: “...I see death ... as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience...” Fauré’s beautiful Requiem, so expressive of his unique musical idiom, conveys an ethereal serenity, a feeling of eternal peace. The Nashua Chamber Orchestra will be joined by the Nashua Choral Society, Philip Lauriat, director.

The performance of a double bass concerto is a rare event, even for avid concert-goers. The double-bass (thus named because its initial role was to double the cello, one octave lower) generally assumes the role of the foundation of the orchestra. Although it has the largest range of the string instruments, it is seldom heard as a solo instrument, and there are only a small number of bass concertos. The oldest surviving concertos for double-bass are the two by Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf (1739--1799), a lesser known contemporary of Haydn and Mozart with a prolific output spanning all the major genres of his time. The Concerto No. 2 for Double-bass and Orchestra dates from 1762.

The two outer movements move at a good clip and are full of ear-catching motifs and virtuoso technical feats: double stops (2 notes played simultaneously), harmonics (high notes produced by touching the string in exactly the right place), and dazzling fast passages. By contrast, the lyrical middle movement sings with gentle, serene melodies. The visual spectacle rivals the listening experience, as the soloist must be quite nimble to cover long distances in an instant.

Bass soloist and teacher Josep Quer comes to us from Girona in northern Spain (Catalunya). He is a specialist in Spanish and Catalán ethnic genres, in which he has recorded two CDs. He held the post of co-principal bassist of the Orquestre del Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, until his retirement in 2008. Mr. Quer travels extensively, and has performed as soloist throughout Europe, in the US and in Russia. He is playing a Spanish bass modeled on an 18th century Italian prototype. This instrument, built by Catalán luthier Jordi Ruscada, is pear-shaped, without the ‘corners’ seen on standard basses.

Franz Josef Haydn (1732--1809), perpetual fount of musical creativity, had no formal musical training, nor was he born into a musical family. His portal to the world of music was a beautiful voice.

During his ten years as a choirboy in Vienna, he imbibed the wealth of music he heard and sang, with a determination to hone his skills as a composer. Through connections with musicians and the nobility, he eventually found his way to the service of the Esterházy family, which gave him the means to realize his prodigious musical talent. In 1791, he arrived in London, where he composed twelve “London Symphonies”. No. 100, known as the Military Symphony, was the most popular of these. Its nickname derives from the fanfares and percussion effects in the second movement. This Symphony displays all the characteristics of the mature Haydn: an endless stream of musical ideas that blossom into themes, a rich array of colors and timbres, interplay of woodwinds and strings, a work infused with Haydn’s unmistakable energy and exuberance that flow from an organic wellspring. Lithe and supple in its unfolding, the Symphony is full of engaging tunes, imaginative harmonies, and Haydn’s playful sense of humor: “Since God has given me a cheerful temperament, He will forgive me for serving Him cheerfully.”

The popular overture to Franz von Suppé’s (1819--1895) operetta, Light Cavalry, has long outlived its operatic namesake, which is rarely performed today. The Light Cavalry had its debut in Vienna in 1866, just as Austria was becoming part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Viennese citizens were fascinated by the gypsy culture of Hungary, and composers incorporated exotic Hungarian melodies and characters in their operas. Contrary to what its title implies, the operetta does not include troops on horseback; rather, the title refers tongue-in-cheek to a group of overweight dancers. The Overture is a treasure-trove of contrasting styles and moods, major and minor keys, trumpet calls and orchestral colors, sporting a schmalzy Hungarian melody, and the ubiquitous familiar galloping theme that will have you posting in your saddle.

30th Concert Season

Join us in 2014-2015 for our 30th Season!

Triple Play - Saturday, November 15, 7:30pm, Nashua            Sunday, November 16, 3:00pm, Milford

The season starts with whimsical dances, sketches, and symphonic poems by Stravinsky, Borodin, Glinka, and the American composer Edward MacDowell who along with his wife founded the MacDowell Colony of art in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Members of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Ensemble join us to perform Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major.

All in the Families - Saturday, February 28, 7:30pm, Nashua            Sunday, March 1, 3:00pm, Milford

Discover the orchestra’s variety of color and sound through pieces written for the brass, string, and woodwind families. Then discover a favorite clarinet concerto by Carl Maria von Weber, with local young composer and clarinetist Joe Clark.

Free Family Concert - Saturday, April 11, 3:00pm, Nashua Public Library

Music lovers of all ages are invited to explore the joys and wonders of classical music!

Summer Songs - Saturday, June 6, 7:30pm, Nashua            Sunday, June 7, 7:30pm, Milford

Our final concerts of the season feature Yuki Beppu, an amazing, seventeen-year-old violinist from Massachusetts who has appeared on From the Top and Good Morning, America. The orchestra will also perform Schubert’s Symphony No. 2, Copland’s Quiet City, and a brand new composition entitled Echoes of Lithuania.