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.