Balmain Sinfonia | Mozart Copland Stravinsky
20 March 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm AEDT
Balmain Sinfonia’s March concert combines and contrasts music of the Classical period with that of the 20th century. Each half opens with a rousing fanfare for brass and percussion, Aaron Copland’s ever-popular Fanfare for the Common Man, and Joan Tower’s answer to it, the equally exciting Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman.
Copland is also present in a more contemplative mood, with Quiet City, which started life in 1939 as part of the incidental music to a play by Irwin Shaw, in which a young trumpet player imagines the night thoughts of many different people in a great city.
In the winter of 1786–87, Mozart arrived in Prague to capitalize on the success of The Marriage of Figaro, which the Czechs had loved. This success continued with the premiere of his three-movement Symphony no. 38, and a commission to write Don Giovanni. The sinister mood of Don Giovanni can be heard in the extensive slow introduction, which then opens out into a fresh and exuberant Allegro. The middle movement is both courtly and melodious, and the final Prestois bursting with a kind of mischievous spirit.
Courtliness and mischief are elements we also find in our concert’s final piece, the Pulcinella Suite by Igor Stravinsky, dating from 1920. The suite was assembled from Stravinsky’s first Neoclassical work, a ballet for Diaghilev, based on the Commedia dell’Arte and the music of G.B. Pergolesi. It takes over Pergolesi’s melodies and bass lines, but filters the 18th-century material through piquant harmonies and quirky rhythms, coupling infectious energy with lyric charm.
Copland – Quiet City
Mozart – Symphony No.38 in D Major, K.504 ‘Prague’
Tower – Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
Stravinsky – Pulcinella Suite