Join Sinfonia Ancaster on a journey into the world of dance with
May 12th 2023 @ 7:00pm
Before the word pivot became a defining word for the pandemic, it was also a standard folk and ballroom dance move, which is not to offend Raptor fans who first and foremost know the word as a basketball move! But a quick shift is the operative concept here. Sinfonia Ancaster in its final concert of the season features an evening full of pivots. The first half is comprised of rustic and sometimes raucous dance music from across Europe. Brahms’ Hungarian Dance #1 will set the listener’s heart spinning, followed by Wojciech Kilar’s symphonic poem, Orawa (for 15 string players), a piece named after and inspired by the Polish highland region. Some may know Kilar best as a composer of music to films by Roman Polanski or Francis Ford Coppola.
Podhale (“below the mountain pastures”) or Polish Highlands Region
Next, Sinfonia serves up music for traditional Italian dance forms like the galliard and passamezzo, courtesy of Ottorino Respighi’s First Suite of Ancient Airs and Dances. Composed in 1917 and inspired by Renaissance lute pieces (by the father of Galileo Galilei no less, among others), the First Suite is full of rich, orchestral colour. The concert then pivots away from the folk inspired world to enter a ballroom, with the wispy and velvety Valse Lente by celebrated Austrian composer Franz Schreker.
After intermission, the program makes its final pivot to the mysterious and volatile Symphony No. 4 in D-minor by Robert Schumann — a work that ultimately ends in triumph, but only after hard-won battles with darkness have been fought. After all, Schumann pivoted away from the symphony for ten years before significantly revising it for publication. Brahms discovered the original manuscript, and published it over Clara Schumann’s protest, another pivot, which layered on more debate about Schumann’s intent. Still, in emotional content and pure beauty of sound, the 4th Symphony remains one of Schumann’s finest compositions!