By Fawzi Haimor, Assistant Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony and our Guest Conductor on October 18th
It’s a great honor to be working with the musicians of the Erie Chamber Orchestra on such an eclectic and unique chamber music program in October. Each piece, although unfamiliar to some, are like hidden gems in the repertoire and yet to place them all in one program really makes for a memorable evening. Take the Respighi for instance. Trittico Botticelliano is full of so many colors and dense textures that it is so undeniably Respighi, yet it’s skillfully composed in a way that one can’t help but imagine the paintings this piece is inspired by. In fact, it’s almost essential to have the paintings displayed during performance so the listener can visualize how Respighi placed Botticelli’s paintings in music; and they will be displayed at the concert. The Vivaldi follows the Respighi as we are joined by violinist Charles Castleman. This concerto is one of a set of twelve concerti that Vivaldi composed around 1711. It only takes two or three bars to realize that this piece is heavily influenced by Vivaldi’s famous teacher. I would encourage you to listen to Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in F Major or even his “Christmas Concerto,” and compare the subtle similarities.
Mozart’s K. 136 is truly one of my favorite pieces of chamber music. It’s so simple, yet incredibly effective and to realize he was only 16 years old when he composed it! The opening movement is light and delightful, the last movement, equally so, however it’s the second movement that I believe puts this piece above many others in the chamber repertoire. Again, so simple on the page, yet the harmonies of the inner movement bring a certain heightened elegance to the work, along with melodies that you’re sure to be humming on the way home.
The Ibert is perhaps the least known work of the concert, yet is a fitting ending to the evening. The comedic work consists of six short movements, all saturated with musical jokes throughout, it’s impossible not to enjoy.
Lastly, I’m very excited to be working with Charles Castleman on this program and want to personally thank him for agreeing to fill in for Claudia Hoca on such short notice. We are all saddened that she was unable to join us and our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. Please keep her in your hearts. We wish her a speedy recovery.
See you in October,