The Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra, under the direction of guest conductor William Drury, will present its fall concerts on Saturday, November 9, at 4 PM, and Sunday, November 10, at 3 PM, at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford Street, Falmouth.
The orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B Flat Minor, Mozart’s Symphony No. 31 in D Major, and Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance, No 8, Op.46.
“We are delighted to have Bill Drury conduct this performance,” said Laura Sonnichsen, vice-president of the FCPO. “He is extraordinarily good at what he does, with great attention to detail and a wonderful attitude toward the music and the musicians. He brings out the best in our fine players because he makes them feel comfortable and appreciated.”
Drury is associate conductor of wind ensembles at New England Conservatory and directs the NEC Symphonic Winds. He also conducts the 567th Air National Guard Band of Cape Cod and plays saxophone with the Jimmy Capone Big Band. Drury was named chairman of the Massachusetts Chapter of the College Band Directors National Association in 2002.
As a conductor, Drury has premiered works by composers such as Bell, Pinkham, Fletcher, Popkin, and Zorn; conducted orchestras at Harvard, Brown, and Brandeis universities and numerous Air Force bands throughout the nation; and has previously been MIT’s assistant conductor of orchestras, conductor of the Boston Conservatory’s Wind Ensemble, assistant conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Boston, and conductor of the Auros Chamber Orchestra.
As a jazz saxophonist, Drury has performed with Natalie Cole, the Coasters, Dave Stewart and MFB, and played lead tenor sax with the Bob Curnow Big Band.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, composed in 1806, was described by Robert Schumann as “a slender Grecian maiden between two Nordic giants.” Though No. 4 tends to be overshadowed by Beethoven’s more dramatic symphonies, the third and fifth, it is a finely crafted and beautiful work, cheerful and engaging, with much to offer.
The opening Adagio is dark and mysterious, leading to a bright and spirited Allegro, featuring a series of woodwind solos. The second movement Adagio, a dreamlike fantasy, is considered one of the most beautiful that Beethoven ever wrote, while the third movement Scherzo and Trio has been described as “a jokey mixture of bluster and sly humor.” The whirlwind finale is playful, written in a style that Beethoven referred to as aufgeknöpft (unbuttoned).
Mozart composed his 31st Symphony (Paris Symphony) in 1778 in Paris for the Concert Spirituel, the city’s most important concert series. He deliberately tailored the symphony to the tastes of the Paris audience, beginning with a coup d’archet, unison chords, creating a magnificent fireworks of an opening.
As Mozart wrote to his father, “In the middle of the opening Allegro there was a passage that I knew people would like; the whole audience was carried away by it, and there was tremendous applause. But I knew when I wrote it what sort of an effect it would make, and so I introduced it again at the end, with the result that it was encored.”
Symphony 31 called for the largest orchestra that Mozart had yet composed for and was the first of his symphonies to use clarinets. It is also notable for having two different versions of the middle Andante movement. Joseph Legros, director of the Concert Spirituel, thought the original Andante had too many ideas in it, so Mozart wrote a less elaborate one for a subsequent performance.
Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance No. 8 is one of 16 dances written in 1878 (Op. 46) and 1886 (Op.72). Originally written for piano four hands, they were so well-received that the publisher immediately requested that Dvořák orchestrate them. Inspired by Johannes Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, the Slavonic Dances do not actually quote folk melodies, as Brahms did, but evoke their styles and spirit by using traditional rhythmic patterns and structures of traditional folk dances.
No. 8 in G Minor is a lively furiant, a fiery and impulsive, cheerfully exuberant dance.
Admission is by donation at the door; the suggested donation is $20 for adults and $5 for students.
For more information about the concert and other activities of the Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra, visit http://www.famouthchamberplayers.org, email FCPO@falmouthchamberplayers.org, or call Fritz Sonnichsen at 508-274-2632.