On Monday, January 31, 2011, the 100-member Ottawa Symphony Orchestra will present a concert at 8:00 p.m. in Southam Hall at the National Arts Centre.
In the third concert of its season of 7th Symphonies, the OSO will perform Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, followed by Bruckner’s Symphony No.7 in E Major. For this concert, the OSO will be led by guest conductor Jean-François Rivest.
Quebec conductor Jean-François Rivest is renowned for his energy, precise technique and a style that is passionate, moving and deeply involved. Currently artistic director of the Orford Arts Centre, he has also been artistic director of the Orchestre symphonique de Laval and Ottawa's Thirteen Strings Ensemble, as well as conductor in residence of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal from 2006 to 2009. The newspaper Le Soleil has called him “a magician: with a touch of his magic wand he always transforms any concert into an extraordinary and unique event.”
Richard Wagner’s song cycle, Five Songs for a Female Voice—commonly known as the Wesendonck Lieder—was composed while Wagner was in exile from Germany for his support of the failed revolutions of 1848. The popular title refers to Mathilde Wesendonck, the wife of one of Wagner's patrons, five of whose poems form the basis for the work. Wagner first wrote the songs for female voice and piano alone, though the whole cycle was later orchestrated by Felix Mottl, famed as a conductor of Wagner’s music. Wagner himself referred to the songs as “studies” for his landmark opera Tristan und Isolde, and some of the music reappears in that work. The final song, “Träume,” in particular, is a striking precursor of the revolutionary approach to tonality that Wagner revealed in Tristan.
Julie Nesrallah, who will join the OSO as soloist for the Wesendonck Lieder, is an extremely versatile singer and actress, at ease in all styles. She dazzles audiences with her rich tone, engaging personality and deeply expressive communicative skills. With a vast repertoire of operatic roles to her credit, Miss Nesrallah has been the recipient of many distinguished awards and prizes, including the Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist Award and Mid-Career Grant. She is known across Canada as the host of Tempo, CBC Radio 2's flagship national classical music program.
Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E major is one of his best-known symphonies, and the premiere, given in the opera house at Leipzig in 1884, brought Bruckner his greatest success. Bruckner was composing the Second Movement Adagio when he heard of the death of his idol, Wagner, and this event is said to have inspired the opening theme, appropriately scored for the four Wagner Tubas, which the composer employs throughout this symphony. Indeed, the whole symphony has been called a eulogy for Wagner. Misunderstood and psychologically susceptible to the criticism he received from supporters of Brahms, anti-Wagnerites and the critic Edward Hanslick, Bruckner revised much of his work over and over. The 7th symphony, however, is the exception, as it has come down to us almost exactly as originally written.
Ever wondered what it’s like backstage before a concert? The OSO invites you to take a short tour backstage guided by one of the orchestra’s musicians. Tours are limited to 12 audience members on a first come, first serve basis. Meet at the OSO table in the foyer by 6:50 p.m. Tours begin at 7:00 p.m. and are 15 minutes in duration.
What better way to appreciate and enjoy the concert you are about to hear than with some insight about the composers and their music? Join us for a pre-concert chat with Christopher Moore, Assistant Professor at the School of Music, University of Ottawa before each concert in the mezzanine at 7:15 p.m.
You can win a pair of Tetra Speakers from our Pre-concert Chats sponsor, Tetra Speakers, by purchasing raffle tickets at the pre-concert chats or OSO table in the lobby. The draw will take place at our closing concert on May 16, 2011.
The National Capital Region’s largest orchestra, the OSO presents five concerts each year at the National Arts Centre, under Music Director and Conductor David Currie. Tickets for the January 31 concert are available from the OSO Box Office (613-231-2561), the NAC and Ticketmaster. Prices range from $24 to $69 for regular tickets, from $20 to $63 for seniors and from $12 to $28.50 for students. Subscriptions are available only from the OSO Box Office.
Information: Melynda Szabototh (613-882-8890)
Ottawa Symphony Orchestra
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