Grand Opening Concert
“Ice, Silk and Turkish Delight”

Location:
Evergreen Theatre, 5001 Joyce Ave, Powell River

Date:
Thursday June 20 – 7:30 PM

About the Repertoire

Marcus Goddard (b. 1973)

Antarctica: Life Emerging (with projection) (2021)

Antarctica: Life Emerging features a musical journey through the icy landscape of Antarctica as part of the global campaign to safeguard the Southern Ocean. Created in collaboration between composer Marcus Goddard, photographer Paul Nicklen, SeaLegacy, Aventa and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the work features musical contributions from forty artists from eighteen orchestras from around the world. 


“Music has a unique power to move people that no other artistic medium can match,” says Nicklen, Co-founder of SeaLegacy. “Marcus Goddard has harnessed that power in Antarctica: Life Emerging – an emotionally engaging symphonic journey that reveals the beauty and the plight of Earth’s most remote continent.”


“In Antarctica: Life Emerging, I aspire to bring audiences on a unique artistic journey into not only the awe-inspiring ruggedness and beauty of Antarctica, but also to the tenderness of life expressed so eloquently by Paul Nicklen’s stunning images,” says Goddard. “I hope to express the mysterious combination of reverence, wonder and concern that surround my own emotions when I contemplate this region.”


Aventa Ensemble

Gisle Kverndokk (b. 1967)

The Silk Road (with projection) (2017)

Gisle Kverndokk’s suite “The Silk Road,” composed in 2017, presents a vibrant musical journey along the historic trade routes that connected East and West, from the canals of Venice to the sprawling landscapes of China. This evocative piece for chamber ensemble explores the rich tapestry of cultural exchanges that occurred along these routes, embodied through a series of ten movements, each dedicated to a different region along the Silk Road.


The suite commences with the lively “Venice. Song of the Silk Merchants,” setting the stage for a journey of discovery and exchange. As the music progresses, listeners are taken on a journey eastward, stopping in Turkey with “Don’t leave any Hazelnuts on the Tree,” Armenia with “You are a Ploughman,” and traversing through Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan, and beyond. Each movement captures the unique musical traditions and atmospheres of these regions, from the spirited “Atan – Nomad Dance” of Afghanistan to the serene “Morning in the Desert” of Uzbekistan, and culminating in the tender “I love you, Snow in the North” of China.


Kverndokk’s work is a celebration of cultural diversity and the historical significance of the Silk Road as a conduit for trade, ideas, and artistry. The suite not only pays homage to the past but also brings these ancient connections into the present, inviting listeners to reflect on the enduring power of cultural exchange and the universal language of music.


With “The Silk Road,” Kverndokk contributes a contemporary voice to the timeless story of human interconnectedness, offering a musical journey that is as enriching as it is enlightening. Through this suite, we are reminded of the ways in which art transcends boundaries, creating bridges between disparate worlds and echoing the spirit of exploration and curiosity that has always driven humanity forward.

PRISMA

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)

Violin Concerto No.5 in A Major, K. 219 (“Turkish”) (1775)

I. Allegro aperto – Adagio – Allegro aperto

II. Adagio (E major)

III. Rondeau – Tempo di minuetto


The first movement, while in traditional sonata form, offers many inventive touches that vary the basic structure. The opening ascending motif, introduced by the first violins, turns out not to be the main theme but merely its accompaniment! The soloist enters with a reflective slow episode before launching into a lively presentation of the various themes. The brief development journeys into the minor, but the recapitulation and solo cadenza recapture the high spirits with which the movement began. 


The slow-tempo second movement, in A-B-A form, is based on an extended, graceful melody introduced by the first violins and then repeated, to sighing accompaniment, by the soloist. The melancholy central B section provides contrast prior to the reprise of the opening portion, the soloist’s cadenza, and the ensemble’s final bars. 


The Rondo finale begins with the soloist’s presentation of the principal theme, cast in the form of an elegant minuet. The theme returns throughout, alternating with spirited, contrasting episodes. Most striking is a lengthy section set in duple meter, which makes use of the “Turkish” effects popular in Mozart’s day. The Rondo concludes with a return to the principal minuet theme and the simplest but most striking of effects: a series of five ascending notes.

Ken Meltzer, Kansas City Symphony