The Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra, under the direction of John Yankee, will present its fall concerts at John Wesley United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 11, at 4 PM, and Sunday, November 12, at 3 PM. The church is at 270 Gifford Street in Falmouth.
The concerts will feature Kyle Spraker, principal trumpet for the Cape Symphony Orchestra, in a performance of Joseph Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major. A sought-after musician who performs with many prestigious ensembles in Boston and surrounding areas, Spraker also played solo trumpet on the soundtrack to the movie “The Tenants Downstairs” and on soundtracks to popular video games, such as “Final Fantasy XV.” A recent resident of Bourne, he also teaches trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, and French horn at both campuses of Cape Cod Conservatory and is on the faculty of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.
One of Haydn’s most popular compositions, the Trumpet Concerto was written in 1796 at the request of Anton Weidinger, a trumpet player in the Vienna Court Orchestra and the inventor of the keyed trumpet, which allowed the player to easily play half steps and chromatic passages. Weidinger’s trumpet was an improvement over the trumpets of the day, but was eventually replaced in the 1830s with the valved trumpet.
To approximate the sound of the earlier trumpet, Spraker will be performing the concert on an E-flat trumpet, an instrument somewhat smaller and higher pitched than a standard trumpet and will be using a Stork custom-made mouthpiece.
Haydn’s vibrant and festive concerto makes good use of the keyed trumpet’s improvements, making use of the new instrument’s expanded pitch and dynamic ranges and its ability to modulate from key to key and to allow a virtuoso player to play lyrically and expressively, using trills, arpeggios, and octave leaps. Weidinger performed the concerto for the first time in 1880, four years after it was written, which may mean that it took him that long to perfect it. The concerto was not performed again until 1929, but is now considered to be the best-loved of Haydn’s concertos.
Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra, Photo by Doreen Sykes
Also on the FCPO’s concert program are Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 6 (Little C Major), J. S. Bach’s Little Fugue in G Minor (BWV 578), and Franz von Suppé’s Overture to “The Poet and the Peasant.”
Written in 1818, Schubert’s Little C Major Symphony was first performed publicly in 1828, four weeks after his death at age 31. The symphony shows the influences of Beethoven, Haydn, and Rossini on Schubert, as well Schubert’s own melodic style, from the solemn opening chords to the light and jocular final movement.
Bach’s Little Fugue in G Minor was originally written for organ between 1703 and 1707 when Bach was a church organist at Arnstadt. Orchestra versions were arranged later by others, including this one, which emphasizes the woodwinds.
One of Bach’s most recognizable tunes, the fugue begins in a single voice and gradually adds layers, texture, and complexity, each voice fitting together with the others, building to a rich expression by four distinct voices.
Though “The Poet and the Peasant,” an 1846 operetta about young woman’s forbidden love for a poet, is rarely performed today, von Suppé’s Overture is still beloved, often finding its way into popular culture, including a 1935 cartoon version, “The Spinach Overture,” conducted by Popeye. The overture features a lyrical cello solo, a lively waltz, and a very recognizable and energetic syncopated can-can inspired Allegro.
A donation of $20 is suggested for adults, $5 for students. Tickets at the door only. For more information, contact Fritz Sonnichsen at 508-274-2632 or visit FalmouthChamberPlayers.org.