Summer 2017 Concert Highlights

Enjoy select pieces from our summer 2017 concert with this playlist:

Advertisements

Summer 2017 Concert

Our next concert will be held on Friday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Wayne United Methodist Church, 210 S. Wayne Ave, Wayne, PA. Admission is free and all are welcome! A reception will follow the concert.

Program

Vivaldi: Concerto Grosso in D Minor, Op. 3, No. 11

Sibelius: Impromptu for String Orchestra

Parry: An English Suite (Prelude, Minuet, Sarabande, Frolic)

Ireland: Minuet from A Downland Suite

Grieg Suite
   Last Spring, Op. 34, No. 2
   Norwegian, Op. 53, No. 1
   Cow Call and Peasant Dance, Op. 63, No. 2a and 2b

Gardel: Por una Cabeza

Anderson: Jazz Legato and Jazz Pizzicato

Winter Concert

Our winter concert was held on Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 4 p.m. at St. Peter’s (121 Church Street) in Phoenixville, PA. The concert was part of the Music @ St. Peter’s Series.

Program

Antonio Vivaldi: Four Seasons

Gustav Holst: St. Paul’s Suite

Geroge Gershwin: Lullaby

Astor Piazzolla: Libertango

paul3

Our guest soloist for the Vivaldi and Holst was Paul Roby of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Click here to see Roby and Amici Strings performing the Vivaldi at our summer concert.

About Paul Roby

Paul Roby’s first lessons were from his parents, a violinist and an oboist. His early studies continued with Mary Crowder-Hess and Roman Totenberg, students of Ivan Galamian and Carl Flesch, respectively. At the age of 16 Mr. Roby was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied violin with Yumi Ninomiya Scott and Jascha Brodsky, members of the Curtis Quartet. Immediately after graduation from Curtis, Mr. Roby won a position with the Baltimore Symphony under David Zinman and soon after became a member of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich. In 1991 Mr. Roby became a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra under Riccardo Muti and in November 2000 was named associate principal second violin.

Mr. Roby made his solo debut at age 12 with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and has since won such prizes as the best Wieniawski Polonaise Prize at the Wieniawski-Lipinski Competition in Lublin, Poland, and the Davidoff Prize for Outstanding Artistry at the 1989 Schleswig-Holstein Festival. As a founding member of the Salzau Quartet, Mr. Roby played a command performance for German President Weizäcker at his official residence.

St Peters

St. Peter’s is located at 121 Church Street in Phoenixville. Its vision is to be an inclusive, vibrant Christian community honoring its Episcopal heritage by achieving excellence in worship, mission, education and fellowship. More information about St. Peter’s can be found here: St. Peter’s.

Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite”

gustav-holst-1335359051-hero-wide-0

Similarly to Vivaldi, Gustav Holst spent a large part of his career as a pioneering music educator at a girls’ school. From 1905 to his death in 1934 he was employed by the St. Paul’s School for Girls, located in Brook Green, Hammersmith, West London. Contained in that address are the titles of three of Holst’s compositions, but it is St. Paul’s Suite that has become a staple of string orchestra repertoire. Who can resist the dances? We have a lively opening jig, a quiet waltz one would hear in a dream, a waltz treatment of Greensleeves and another jig. Between two of the dances is the wonderful Intermezzo, in which the soulful solo violin and viola delicately wind their way through the pizzicato strings, only to have the orchestra suddenly run at full speed and just as suddenly stop to ponder the old soulful melody again. The Finale (The Dargason) was a bold stroke in a composition for students in 1913. The virtuosity of composition and orchestration we enjoy so much in Holst’s most famous piece, The Planets, still a few years in the future, is evident here. Among English composers, only Holst would dare to combine two familiar tunes having different rhythmic schemes and score that combination so masterfully that the two melodies seem destined to be together from birth.

Poetry and Performance in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Each of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is based on a sonnet written by the composer himself. As you listen to the selected movements from each concerto, consider how  Vivaldi translates his words into music.

Amici Strings will perform the entire “Four Seasons” with readings of the poems and a performance by violin soloist Paul Roby at our free concert on July 29, 2016.

Spring

“Spring” awakens with evocative bird calls.

spring


Summer

This movement 3 from the “Summer” Concerto evokes thunder and lightning: a summer storm rages…

summer

Autumn

The third movement of the “Autumn” Concerto depicts The Hunt. Wild beasts flee the hunters with their weapons and dogs, but ultimately, there are those who cannot escape.

autumn

Winter

The slow movement of Vivaldi’s “Winter” Concerto illustrates a winter rain; the plucked strings (pizzicato) of the orchestra are the raindrops which soak the passersby.

winter

Hear the music of Sweden on Sunday, January 10th

wiren

Dag Wirén (1905-1986) was a composer not well known outside his native Sweden. However, his Serenade for Strings, Op. 11, from 1937, is performed by many string orchestras around the world. One reason is the infectious charm of the final “March” movement, with its melody that seems so familiar, even if you have never heard it. Read more about this composer here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dag_Wirén

Listen to the “March”:

Dag Wirén’s “March” performed by Cali Camerata

Come hear us perform his work on Sunday, January 10th at 4 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Phoenixville, PA.

Press Release for January Concert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January Amici Strings concert celebrates the fabric of community

PHOENIXVILLE, PA, December 17, 2015—Phoenixville is known for its annual firebird festival, a blazing and eclectic celebration of rebirth. But the renewal of the town has been accompanied by a quieter reinvestment in music education and performance opportunities. A new orchestra with several Phoenixville members, Amici Strings will perform at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Phoenixville on Sunday, January 10 at 4 p.m. The free concert is part of the Music @ St. Peters concert series and will include the Concerto for Strings in c minor by Vivaldi, Elgar’s romantic Serenade, Dag Wiren’s sprightly March, the Capriol Suite by the elusive Peter Warlock and Carl Nielsen’s Little Suite for String Orchestra. Nielsen’s first orchestral suite was itself a birth of sorts—it is fabled that the program notes attributed the piece to “Mr. Nielsen, whom nobody knows.”

Music has played an important part in the revitalization of Phoenixville, a place that, until recently, it would seem nobody knew. In the decade she has lived here, violinist Liz Grimshaw has watched Phoenixville develop into a vibrant city, thanks in part to the quality of the First Friday performers. She joined Amici enthusiastically because “the musicians here possess a depth and richness of talent and experience”. Alice Pavri, who teaches violin, viola, and piano in Kimberton, founded the orchestra last summer to explore rich repertoire for string orchestra and spend time with her many talented friends. One of whom, cellist Pam Baxter, moved to Phoenixville in 1985. She credits the remarkable growth of the city to the Chamber of Commerce, the Colonial Theater, and the Art Center. For Baxter, Phoenixville is a livable city “full of art and music and creative energy.”

Phoenixville has a history of producing award-winning marching bands, but little exposure to string ensembles. In spite of having directed bands for much of his career, Amici conductor Stuard Young calls string groups his “greatest musical love.” Bassist Joe Klapper explains how string ensembles differ from traditional school bands: “Strings offer a more contemplative and delicate world in which to express our human diversity.” Klapper was hired to start the district’s string program in 2013, the same year St. Peter’s Music Series began. The church hopes to bring people together in the appreciation of music and experience of community. “We wanted to offer high quality music to people who might not otherwise attend a concert,” says Karen Martz, a choral singer who works with the church to organize the series. Children are welcome at all St. Peter’s musical events.

Many of the orchestra’s members are hopeful about Phoenixville’s musical future. Indeed, with 304 students learning violin, viola, and cello in the city’s schools, Amici may soon have some serious competition! Joe Klapper hopes the ensemble can serve as a model for his young students: “I’d like my kids to embrace complex ideas of beauty. Classical music helps us do that.”

For more information about Amici Strings, visit our website: amicistrings.com or find us on Facebook: facebook.com/amicistringsorchestra

St. Peter’s is located at 121 Church Street in Phoenixville and is currently celebrating its 175th anniversary. Its vision is to be an inclusive, vibrant Christian community honoring its Episcopal heritage by achieving excellence in worship, mission, education and fellowship. More information about St. Peter’s can be found at saintpeterschurch.net.