Exquisite Fires with Denise Djokic
PEI Symphony Orchestra – October 21, 2018
A Few Things You Might Want to Know
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)
Linda Bouchard (1957 – )
Antonin Dvořàk (1841–1904)
Some Thoughts From Our Maestro
We asked Maestro Mark Shapiro, our Music Director, to give us his thoughts on our programme for the first concert of the season.
I love our October program. The combination of pieces works beautifully not only within the concert itself, but also — and this was definitely part of the thought process — in the context of the season as a whole.
It has been a long time since PEISO performed Haydn’s music, though he is one of my favourite composers and musical minds. If I were asked to choose a “wit” in whose company I might spend eternity, I would opt for Haydn. His mind was so incredibly alert and quick. This symphony epitomizes Haydn’s gift for musical repartee. It is full of unexpected turns and other delightful surprises. I loved the idea of opening our season, which will include large-scale symphonies by Prokofiev and Mahler, with this perfect earlier miniature.
Linda Bouchard’s Exquisite Fires, though its goals are very different from Haydn’s, shares a certain luminosity of mind and narrative purpose. Linda is a really smart composer with a fantastic ear and a flawless technique. Exquisite Fires is extravagantly colorful and richly imagined. If Haydn’s approach is “verbal” Bouchard’s might be thought of as more “visual.”
I admit to being a bit seduced by the use of “fire” in the name/nickname of both works.
Dvorak’s Cello Concerto draws on elements from both of these other composers (though of course Bouchard is later). There is a focus on conversation — especially in the dialogue between soloist and orchestra — and also on color. Dvorak had such a detailed understanding of the particular sound-identify he could establish.