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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Three orchestral works set for virtual performance in Sheboygan

Critic At Large

Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra

Oriol Sans of the University of Wisconsin will guest conduct the “Spring” concert of the Sheboygan Symphony orchestra.

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WFRV) – The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra will close its 102nd season this weekend with a virtual performance titled, “Spring.”

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. May 15, recorded in the Weill Center for the Performing Arts. Info: sheboygansymphony.org.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the orchestra’s plans have changed. This concert was among those postponed and shifted to be a recorded event.

According to the website: The concert will bring all of the orchestra’s “instrument families together for works seldom heard in the large concert hall.”

Guest conductor is Oriol Sans, music director and conductor of the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and the University Opera.

The program:

+ “Nonet in E-flat major, Opus. 38” by Louise Farrenc.
Farrenc (1804-1875) was a composer, pianist and educator. She was professor of piano studies at the prestigious Paris Conservatoire and demanded and received equal pay with her male colleagues after the success of her “Nonet” in 1849.

After her death, Farrenc became virtually unknown until the beginning of the 21st century.

Written for woodwind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn), violin, viola, cello and string bass, “Nonet” is in four movements.

+ “Adagio molto for String Quartet and Harp” by Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky.
Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was a student at the St. Petersburg Conservatory when he wrote this work in 1863-64. The stately, four-minute work is one of his earliest extant compositions.

+ “Appalachian Spring Suite” by Aaron Copland.
Copland (1900-1990) incorporated the folk song “Simple Gifts” into the music for the ballet “Appalachian Spring” in 1944. Created for Martha Graham and her dance company, the work is celebrated.

In his program notes, Joe Milicia states, “The opening section in particular seems to have great simplicity and “purity” as it uncannily evokes a sense of dawn, early spring, a freshness in the air, while conjuring up a dream of pioneers and homesteaders, small farms and rolling hills in Graham’s native Pennsylvania.”

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