Conductor Cynthia Katsarelis and Professional Musica select ‘Pleasure’


Music of Tchaikovsky, Bach and Dvořák for Sunday’s live performance

By Peter Alexander April 29 at 1:10 p.m.

Conductor Cynthia Katsarelis discovered inspiration for her subsequent live performance in poetry.

Within the midst of dire occasions in Boulder and all over the world—the pandemic, the Marshall Fireplace, and the battle in Ukraine—“I used to be pondering, how are we going to seek out pleasure?” she asks. “There’s a beautiful quote by an African-American poet, Toi Deracotte, ‘Pleasure is an act of resistance.’ It’s actually been a supply of inspiration.”

The renovated sanctuary of Mountain View Methodist Church

With that in thoughts, she determined to place collectively a live performance program for the Professional Musica Chamber Orchestra titled “Pleasure” that may supply pleasure by way of music. The live performance will likely be at 3 p.m. Sunday (Could 1) within the newly transformed Mountain View Methodist Church (see particulars under). 

This system contains three items: Andante cantabile by Tchaikovsky, the Orchestral Suite in B minor by J.S. Bach, and the Serenade for Winds by Dvořák.

Katsarelis discovered one other supply of inspiration within the historical past of her circle of relatives, which has ancestral ties to Greece. “I assumed rather a lot about my household in World Battle I and in World Battle II,” she says. “They discovered pleasure of their lives in the midst of all this, so I used to be pondering how are we going to seek out pleasure?

Cynthia Katsarelis

Tchaikovsky’s Andante cantabile is a string orchestra model of the gradual actions from the composer’s First String Quartet. “It’s simply this actually lovely work,” Katsarelis says. “It opens the live performance with a stunning wash of the soul and a bit tug on the heartstrings.”

“You’ll find pleasure going to a live performance and listening to nice music, connecting to your individual humanity but in addition connecting to the humanity round you—folks within the viewers, the musicians (and) the artists. So it was actually out of the depths that I made a decision to placed on a live performance known as ‘Pleasure.’”

It’s inclusion on this program can be a delicate political assertion in regards to the battle in Ukraine. Katsarelis explains: “You need to do not forget that Tchaikovsky was a homosexual man who needed to disguise it, and was oppressed due to it. Putin has been brutal on the LGBTQ+ neighborhood, and when the Russians invaded Ukraine they’d a listing of individuals to focus on (together with) LGBTQ+ activists. Tchaikovsky suffered within the society that he was in, and that aspect’s nonetheless there.”

Michelle Stanley

The Orchestral Suite in B minor for flute and strings is one in every of Bach’s greatest recognized works. The featured performer will likely be Michelle Stanley, Professional Musica’s flutist and a flute professor at Colorado State College.

Katsarelis says that Professional Musica’s method to Bach’s work could be “traditionally knowledgeable on trendy devices,” which means that all the orchestral gamers could have trendy devices, with their giant dynamic vary and fuller sound, however they can even make use of Baroque-era conventions within the therapy of rhythms and different particulars of articulation and interpretation.

“There are some conventions that we comply with which are a part of the Baroque dance,” Katsarelis says. “There’s rather a lot about Baroque music that’s recommendations, however you don’t play precisely what’s on the web page. We add dynamics, we add articulations, we do the rhythms and in a method that represents the actions (of the totally different dances).”

The ultimate piece of the “Pleasure” program is Dvořák’s Serenade for Winds, a chunk that Katsarelis has programmed earlier than. She turned to music for winds as a result of she had been in a position to current music for strings over the previous two years, since they’ll play whereas sporting masks, however “the winds had been out of labor for a yr and a half in the course of the pandemic,” she says. “And so I assumed it was time to do the Dvořák once more.”

Dvořák wrote the Serenade in 1878 when he was 37, and included it in an utility for an Austrian State award for musicians, which he received. “Brahms was on the jury of that competitors and particularly talked about that he loved that piece,” Katsarelis factors out. “It’s a ravishing gem of a chunk.

“It’s simply beautiful to hearken to and very nice in character and complicated in a method the place you don’t should work at it. It’s very satisfying emotionally and it’s nearly like remedy to play and hearken to this lovely piece. And to provide the wind gamers a chance to actually shine for 25 minutes in a serious work is basically particular for us.”

Actually, Katsarelis hopes that all the program turns into “nearly like remedy” for the viewers. “Within the depths of all the pieces occurring on this planet, reaching for pleasure and happiness felt like the drugs all of us want,” she says.

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“Pleasure!”
Professional Musica Chamber Orchestra
Cynthia Katsarelis, conductor, with Michelle Stanley, flute

  • Tchaikovsky: Andante cantabile, op. 11
  • J.S. Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor
  • Antonín Dvořák: Serenade for Winds in D minor, op. 44

3 p.m. Sunday, Could 1
Mountain View Methodist Church, Boulder

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