Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra Features Stephanie Weaver, Pianist

Stephanie Weaver peforms Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 on April 1 and 2 with the Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra

The Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra, John Yankee, music director, will present its spring concerts on Saturday, April 1, at 4 PM, and Sunday, April 2, at 3 PM, at John Wesley United Methodist Church, at the corner of Gifford Street and Jones Road in Falmouth.

The concerts will feature Stephanie Weaver, who is executive director of the Cape Conservatory, performing Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor. The orchestra will also perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 30 “Allelulia” in C Major, Sinfonia for Winds by Gaetano Donizetti, and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 in D Minor “Reformation.”

“Pianists love to play Chopin’s compositions because he wrote so perfectly for the instrument,” said Dr. Weaver. “He not only makes the piano sing, but also sparkle! The second concerto is no exception. Each of the three movements is unique in its expressiveness and character, but undeniably Chopin, requiring great facility of technique and depth of emotion from the performer. The orchestra provides color and support and provides a few heroic moments of its own.”

Largely self-taught as a pianist, Chopin composed music of striking originality and inventiveness. He wrote two piano concertos, one in 1829 and one in 1830. No. 2 was actually written first, but published second, thus its name. The second movement, Larghettto, in particular, has been praised for its beauty, inspired by Chopin’s unrequited love for Constantia Gladowska, a voice pupil at Warsaw Conservatory. Franz Liszt considered the concerto “of ideal perfection, it expression now radiant with light, now full of tender pathos.”

Haydn’s Alleluia symphony is so named because of Haydn’s use of a Gregorian Easter Alleluia chant in the opening movement. The symphony is also notable for its solo flute passages in the second movement, which has been described as almost a mini-concerto, and its rich and elegant minuet finale.

The symphony, composed in 1765, is a festive and delightful piece that serves as a bridge between the traditional three-movement symphony and Haydn’s later development of the now-standard four-movement symphony.

A prolific composer, Donizetti wrote over 600 works, including nearly 70 operas. His Sinfonia in G Minor for Winds is a bright and lively piece for flute and pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and French horns. Donizetti composed it in 1816, when he was 19.

Mendelssohn composed his Reformation symphony for the 1830 celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession, an important document in the Protestant Reformation.  The actual performance was canceled due to rising political tensions in Europe, and it was not published until 1868.

The first movement is based on the Dresden Amen, which was popular in both the Protestant and Catholic churches of the day. This serious first movement is followed by a light and carefree Scherzo. There is a flute solo in the lyrical third movement that quotes “Ein’ feste Burg” (“A Mighty Fortress is Our God”), a chorale by Martin Luther, himself a flutist; and the finale builds on these two themes.

A donation of $20 is suggested for adults, $5 for students. For more information, contact Fritz Sonnichsen at 508-274-2632 or visit FalmouthChamberPlayers.org.

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