Welcome We wish you a very warm welcome to our November Concert in The Caird Hall. Tonight we bring you a concert of music by Schubert, Brahms and Sibelius, with our guest soloist Robert Torrance.
Robert Dick Robert Torrance
Overture Alfonso und Estrella
Violin Concerto in D minor
Symphony No. 2 in D
Dundee Symphony Orchestra is the performing name of Dundee Orchestral Society. The Society was founded in 1893 by a group of enthusiastic amateur performers, and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The only period in the Orchestra's history when it did not perform or rehearse was during the Second World War. BBC Radio 3 recently teamed up with Making Music to find four of the UK's best amateur orchestras to perform as part of ‘Play to the Nation’, which aimed to show off the vibrant, diverse and often excellent activity of amateur orchestras around the UK. The line-up featured the Dundee Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 from their concert last year in St Paul’s Cathedral. Earlier this year in St Paul’s Cathedral, the DSO hosted Handel’s Messiah “from Scratch” as part of Handel’s 250th anniversary celebrations, which attracted many local singers. In the Caird Hall in March, with The Edinburgh Singers and four fine soloists, the orchestra performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Choral) and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music to great acclaim, with a repeat concert in Edinburgh the following evening. In June, the orchestra performed an all Mendelssohn concert to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth, including Joseph Fleetwood playing Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, and rounded off with Symphony No. 4 in A, Italian.
The Orchestra is funded through private and charitable donations, subscriptions from members, and supported by Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies, with funds provided by the Scottish Arts Council. We would like to thank all those who provide financial assistance for the orchestra for their continuing support over the years. If you enjoy our concerts, we hope you will consider becoming a Friend of the Orchestra. This may be done by completing the form at the back of the programme. To keep up to date with current events visit the Orchestra website
www.dundeesymphonyorchestra.org.uk Make ticket purchases easier in the future by visiting http://www.thebooth.co.uk *****************************
Robert Dick Conductor Born in Edinburgh in 1975, Robert studied violin and piano at the Royal College of Music in London where he graduated with Honours in 1997, and also gained the Associateship Diploma of the Royal College of Music in Violin Performance. Robert’s interest in conducting began at an early age and in 1993 he was invited to conduct the Royal Scottish National Orchestra by its then Musical Director, Walter Weller.
Having conducted all of the youth orchestras of which he was a member, including the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra, Robert is now a regular guest conductor of many groups including the Rose Street Ensemble, the Scottish Borders Community Orchestra and The Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra. Currently the conductor of the Dundee Symphony Orchestra, the Edinburgh Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Canongait, Robert has conducted much of the great symphonic repertoire including symphonies by Schumann, Dvorak, Sibelius, Mahler and Bruckner as well as productions of Julius Caesar, Carmen, Tosca, Die Fledermaus, Bittersweet, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and numerous Gilbert & Sullivan operas. In 2001, Robert came second in the British Reserve Insurance Conducting Competition in Cardiff and has also enjoyed success abroad having been invited to conduct the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in the final concert of the Vienna International Mastercourse Series, where he gained their Diploma. Additionally he gained the Diploma of the International Summer Academy at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, on this occasion conducting the Varna Symphony Orchestra and he recently participated in the International Masterclass with Gennadi Rozhdestvensky and the Thüringen Philharmonie in Gotha, Germany. He has also worked with orchestras in Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain and the U.S.A. and in 2007 he participated in the Fourth Lovro von Matacic International Conducting Competition in Zagreb, Croatia. Highlights in 2008 included Mahler’s Fifth Symphony with the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra, The Merry Wives of Windsor with Fife Opera, the two Brahms Piano Concerti with Murray McLachlan in the Edinburgh Festival, his first ever appearance as a harpsichord soloist in Bach’s D minor Keyboard Concerto with the Gecko Ensemble, what is believed to be the Scottish premiere of Elgar’s ballet The Sanguine Fan and a BBC Radio 3 Broadcast
with the Dundee Symphony Orchestra. 2009 has seen special concerts commemorating the respective anniversaries of Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn, including Messiah, The Creation and Judas Maccabaeus, as well as performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Dundee and Edinburgh. As a violin and viola soloist, Robert has performed concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bruch and Brahms and has extensively toured Europe as an orchestral player in venues including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, The Hofburg Palace in Vienna and the Royal Albert Hall in London. In addition, he has freelanced with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Concert Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Scotland.
Alan Torrance Leader Alan Torrance studied violin with Winifred Gavine in Edinburgh until the age of eighteen, when he completed his performer's ARCM. Over the following four years he studied with David Martin of the Royal Academy of Music in London, before receiving further lessons from Max Rostal in a Master Course at the Klagenfurt Conservatoire in Austria aided by a Scottish Arts Council Award. In 1975, while playing with the Scottish Ballet Orchestra (and also for Bing Crosby!) he was invited to become a member of the Scottish Baroque Ensemble (now the Scottish Ensemble) with which he toured widely and made recordings. On moving to New Zealand in 1987, he combined teaching theology in the University of Otago with being leader of the Dunedin Sinfonia - a part-time professional orchestra which attracted international soloists and conductors and broadcast regularly on New Zealand's Concert FM.
After a further five years' academic teaching and playing in London, Alan has returned to his homeland where he is professor of systematic theology in the University of St Andrews. This has enabled him to lead various local orchestras including the NSPO and the DSO, to which he is returning as leader this year. In addition to leading the Laird Quartet, he has also performed chamber music with his four sons both in the UK and in Verbier, Switzerland. When not playing, he would rather be kayaking, mountain-biking or making the most of the Scottish mountains!
Robert Torrance Violin Robert Torrance (21) started his violin studies aged 6 with Madam Shen of the Yehudi Menuhin School. In 1998, he studied for a year with Caroline Plummer, Professor of violin, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, under whose tutelage he won, at age 10, a gold medal in the under-18 final of the Indiana State Violin competition. On the family’s return to Scotland he studied with Warren Jacobs (St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh) winning, at age 14, the open string solo competition, the Festival Medal and the Stringer Prize at the Edinburgh Musical Competition Festival. On being awarded a music scholarship to St Leonard’s School he studied with Vladislav Steinberg qualifying to compete as one of 13 in The International Yfrah Neaman Violin Competition in Mainz, Germany at which Igor Oistrakh (one of the world's most famous violinists and a professor at the Royal Brussels Conservatoire) was one of the panel judges.
On receipt of a Scottish Arts Council award, Robert commenced violin lessons with Professor Oistrakh in Brussels. Whilst still at school, he was invited to perform Saint-Saens’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso with the University of St Andrews’ Symphony Orchestra. Robert first played with the Dundee Symphony Orchestra in 2007 performing Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy and Dvorak’s Romance. The following year, he was selected (from around 700 applicants) to appear as one of 18 musicians in BBC’s televised “Classical Star” series. Shortly after completing his psychology degree at York University, he performed Haydn’s Violin Concerto in C at the Ruthven Music Festival in June, and in September gave the opening concert at the Invergordon Arts Society. He is devoting this year to violin study and receiving lessons in Manchester with the acclaimed teacher and international soloist, Leland Chen. Robert also enjoys chamber and ensemble playing and has performed with his family quartet both in Scotland and in the Verbier Festival, Switzerland. *****************************
Vintage Strings of Dundee 77 Perth Road, Dundee, DD1 4HY We have a large selection of restored second hand violins and pianos as well as new. We stock violas, cellos, classical guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolins etc, also bodhrans and whistles, instrument cases and accessories. Something for all standards. www.vintagestrings.co.uk Tel. 01382 226415
Programme Notes Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Overture Alfonso und Estrella Alfonso und Estrella is an opera in three acts, set to a German libretto by Franz von Schober. Its overture was also used for Rosamunde, but is not the piece known as Rosamunde overture, which was composed for Die Zauberharfe. In close collaboration with von Schober, Schubert wrote the music for Alfonse und Estrella between September 1821 and February 1822. Schober, only one year older than Schubert, and a dabbler in literature, music and theatre, shared an appreciation with Schubert for the operatic theories of Ignaz von Mosel, a patron of Schubert's, who supported Gluck’s operatic ideals. This influence may have led to the omission of all spoken dialogue, parting from the German Singspiel form followed in operas at that time. Schubert never heard the opera performed in his lifetime. Opera houses in Vienna, Berlin, Dresden and Graz all had refused to stage it. The opera received its performance in Weimar in June 1854, conducted by Franz Liszt. A repeated criticism of the opera is its lack of dramatic action and pacing, although it is believed Schubert intended to compose a grand Romantic opera, employing a large chorus and orchestra. At other times, however, strong vocal lines, rich orchestration, and jarring harmonic progressions predominate. In such sections Schubert shows not only his genius for setting words to music and his sensitivity to orchestral colours but also his ability to manage the large resources of big operatic ensembles Wikipedia
Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, Op. 47 Allegro moderato Adagio di molto Allegro ma non tanto Sibelius originally dedicated the concerto to the noted violinist Willy Burmester, who promised to play the concerto in Berlin. For financial reasons, Sibelius decided to premiere it in Helsinki, and since Burmester was unavailable to travel to Finland, Sibelius engaged Victor Novacek, a violin teacher at the Helsinki Conservatory. The initial version of the concerto premiered in 1903, with Sibelius conducting. Novacek played poorly and the premiere performance was a disaster. Sibelius withheld this version from publication and made substantial revisions, deleting much material he felt did not work. The new version premiered in 1905 with Richard Strauss conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Willy Burmester was again asked to be the soloist, but he was again unavailable, so the performance went ahead without him, the orchestra's leader Karel Halíř stepping into the soloist's shoes. Burmester was so offended that he refused ever to play the concerto, and Sibelius re-dedicated it to the Hungarian Ferenc von Vecsey who was aged only 12 at the time, first performing it when he was only 13, although he could not adequately cope with the extraordinary technical demands of the work. The first movement, Allegro moderato, opens with a cushion of pianissimo strings pulsating gently. The soloist then enters with a characteristic IV-V-I phrase; the violin announces the theme and is echoed by clarinet briefly, then continues into developmental material. More low woodwind and timpani accompany the soloist in several runs. Almost cadenza-like arpeggios and double-stops and more runs are accompanied by more woodwind restatements of the theme. The strings then enter brazenly for the first time, announcing a second theme. Developmental material
leads to a cadenza which then opens into the recapitulation. The 'Allegro molto vivace' coda ends with restatements of past themes. Although this movement is mainly melodic, it is still largely virtuosic. Particularly difficult passages include one where the performer must play and maintain a trill with the 1st and 2nd finger, while playing a second moving line on the nextlower string, with the 3rd and 1st fingers. The second movement, Adagio di molto, is very lyrical. A short introduction by two clarinets leads into a singing solo part over pizzicato strings. Beautifully dissonant accompaniments by the brass dominate the first part of the song-like movement. The remarkable middle section has the solo violin playing ascending broken octaves, with the flute as the main voice of the accompaniment, playing descending notes simultaneously. The third movement, Allegro ma non tanto (not overly fast), is widely known amongst violinists for its formidable technical difficulty and is most assuredly one of the several greatest concerto movements ever written for the instrument. It opens with rhythmic percussion and the lower strings for four bars, before the violin boldly enters with the first theme on the G string. This first section offers a complete and brilliant display of violin gymnastics with up-bow staccato double-stops and a run with rapid string-crossing, then octaves, that leads into the first tutti. The second theme is taken up by the orchestra and is almost a waltz, and the violin takes up the same theme in variations, with arpeggios and double-stops. Another short section concluding with a run of octaves makes a bridge into a recapitulation of the first theme. Clarinet and low brass introduce the final section. A passage of harmonics in the violin precedes a sardonic passage of chords and slurred double stops. A passage of broken octaves leads to an incredibly heroic few lines of double stops and soaring octaves. A brief orchestral tutti comes before the violin leads things to the finish with a D major scale up, returning down in minor (then repeated). A flourish of ascending slur-separate sixteenth notes, punctuated by a resolute D from the violin and orchestra concludes the concerto. Wikipedia
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 73 Allegro non troppo Adagio non troppo Allegretto grazioso (quasi Andantino) – Presto ma non assai Allegro con spirito Following the twenty-year gestation of his First Symphony, completed at last in 1876, Brahms wrote the second in a bare four months in the summer of 1877 at Portschach, a lakeside resort in southern Austria. Later he wrote, "So many melodies fly about here that one must be careful not to tread on them", a conceit which can be applied to the symphony itself. In sharp contrast with the first symphony, with its tragedy, nervous tension and conflict, the second is the most radiant and genial of all Brahms' major works. "All so merry and tender, as though it were especially written for a newly-wedded couple", was the composer's own description. Prodigal as Brahms seems to be with spontaneous lyrical melodies, apparently plucked from the air, in fact every theme in the first, third and fourth movements is derived in some way from the symphony's opening statement, shared between 'cellos and basses, horns and woodwind. The three-note 'cello/bass motif in particular acts as a kind of motto throughout the symphony. The first movement is not without its darker moments; the first entry of the trombones falls like a momentary shadow on a sunlit landscape. The movement comes to no triumphant conclusion; instead a long and eloquent horn solo leads us into a gentle and nostalgic sunset coda. The slow movement, led off by an extended, ardent tune for the 'cellos, is the most serious of the four. Its middle section, a gentle theme in rocking rhythm suddenly gives way to a stormy fugato. The greatly varied recapitulation is disturbed by agitated figurations and a new climax. By contrast the scherzo-substitute movement, with its serene oboe theme, is simplicity itself.
Lightly scored (trumpets, trombones and drums are silent), it is virtually mono-thematic – the two Presto interruptions are merely variants, at a different speed and different metres, of the oboe tune. In the finale Brahms recalls something of the happy mood of the first movement, in music of indefatigable rhythmic vitality and cumulative strength. A soaring second subject, announced by the strings, and taken up by the rest of the orchestra, reappears, transformed, in the final bars of the symphony. Author: John Kane, 2005 Supplied through the Programme Note Bank of Making Music, the NFMS
Acknowledgements The Dundee Symphony Orchestra gratefully thanks the following for generous and valuable continuing support For the financial support given to the Society: The St. Katharine’s Fund The Lang Foundation The R.J. Larg Family Trust The Leng Charitable Trust The Low & Bonar Charitable Trust Alexander Moncur’s Trust William S. Phillip’s Fund D.C. Thomson Charitable Trust Harold Adams Charitable Trust Aberbrothock Charitable Trust Tay Charitable Trust Thorntons Solicitors, Arbroath Friends of the DSO
For the concessionary terms given to members of the Orchestra: Music in Print Limited, 29 Castle Street, Dundee Vintage Strings, 77 Perth Road, Dundee, DD1 4HY The Royal Scottish National Orchestra This concert is supported by Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies, with funds provided by the Scottish Arts Council. www.makingmusic.org.uk
Charity Number SCO11490 Registered in Scotland as a charity
Printer: West Port Print & Design, St Andrews
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Friends of Miss S Aitken Mr J I Allan Dr M G Burdon Mr R P Christie Mr J A Coleiro Mr S Coleshill
Mrs A M Gordon Dr R Inglis Mrs S Leighton Dr N Loveless Professor Makin Mr J B S Mann
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Honorary Life Members We are delighted to acknowledge the services to the Dundee Symphony Orchestra of Mrs Muriel Robinson, a Past president, previous DSO archivist and violin player, and Mr Ronald Gibson, Treasurer 2002 – 2009. Dr J Brush Dr J Knox
Violin I Alan Torrance Andy Joss Jane Illes-Brooksbank Anna Robb Persephone Beer Stephen Spackman Barbro Haining Carly Adamson Clare Taylor Violin II Anna Maxwell Sally Carus Morag Ward Marjory Watson Anne Chalmers Abigail Munns Veronica Whiteside Morag Anne Elder Elisabeth Flett Viola Sean Thomas Angela Green Elspeth O’Riordan Jill Duguid John Halliday Iain Flett Jim Tribble
Cello Donald Gordon Anna Woodward Mary Wells Graham Leicester Audrey Brown Lynsey Dick Rachel Monks Joanna Wooley
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Double Bass Trumpet Simon Fokt William Boyle Philip Smith Jane Money Richard Illes-Brooksbank Trombone Paul Findlay Flute Elaine Rietveld David Chesney Beth Hyman Ross Walker Oboe Anne Webster Dawn Paterson Clarinet Duncan Maynes Gillian Smith Jennifer Murphy
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Morag Ward Angela Smith Andy Joss Jill Duguid
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Webmaster Concert Manager Programme
Simon Fokt Peter Daldrop Beth Hyman
A feast of audiovisual displays and music against a backdrop of street art, performances and illuminations FREE Friday 27 November Starting at 6pm in Dundee City Centre with a torchlight procession and closing with a stunning firework display. Including
in St Paul’s Cathedral, High St., at 8pm
Military Symphony Serenade for Strings
DUNDEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONCERT Saturday 27 March 2010 Caird Hall, Dundee, 7.30pm
Conductor ROBERT DICK Programme to include
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 Soloist Murray McLachlan
Symphony No. 9
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