Esprit Orchestra Presents M'M, Concert Inspired By French Language, 11/20

On November 20, 2016 at Koerner Hall, the Esprit Orchestra will perform its second concert of the 2016/17 Season, lead by Founding Music Director and Conductor, Alex Pauk. The programming of this concert was inspired by the sensual resonance of Philippe Leroux's work for orchestra, titled m'M.

Legendary American composer George Crumb, known for the exquisite colours of his chamber music, is less well-known for his orchestral music. Thus, Esprit's performance of his A Haunted Landscape, for large orchestra, presents a rare listening opportunity for Esprit's audience. The piece creates almost ritualistic sonic impressions expressing that certain places on Earth "are imbued with an aura of mystery" and of ancient histories that still penetrate contemporary consciousness.

In the French language, 'M' represents the phonetic sense of 'love'. In Philippe Leroux's m'M, a concerto grosso, the composer extends that idea; 'm' represents a small group of instrumentalists within the orchestra, and 'M' represents the remaining larger combination of players surrounding the small group.

Zosha Di Castri's Alba reflects on the idea of dawn in the winter on the prairies of Northern Alberta. The composer states "Often poetry and images depicting the break of day evoke a spring atmosphere ... dew on the grass, bird calls, a fresh sense of possibility. But what about dawn in the dead of winter?" Alba calls up "the majestic beauty in this quilted silence and stunning flatness".

Marc-André Dalbavie's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra is comprised of a set of fantasies demanding a wide range of virtuosic playing from guest soloist Joseph Johnson, principal cellist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The piece, with its lifting of modernist taboos, confirms the composer's musical genius through its innovative integration of consonance, rhythmic beat and melodic fluidity.


Esprit Orchestra - m'M

Sunday November 20, 2016

Koerner Hall

Alex Pauk - conductor

Joseph Johnson - cello

Pre-concert chat moderated by composer Alexina Louie


George Crumb (U.S.A.) A Haunted Landscape (1984)*

Marc-André Dalbavie (France) Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (2013)*

Zosha Di Castri (Canada) Alba (2011)

Philippe Leroux (France/Canada) m'M (2003)

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