Blog Header
Borealis Beat

A glimpse into the mind of our Artistic Director as she shares her knowledge and expertise on our music selections, the composers, artists, concerts, and more

Music to Delight

Consortium Aurora Borealis has prepared an exciting revised concert programme to offer our audience! The original plan was to present “An Elizabethan Garland: Courtly Ayres and Dances”, to be performed in costume on Saturday, November 18. However, Covid unfortunately struck, so that the original programme has now been rescheduled for Saturday, September 28, 2024, the first available opening.

But never fear, for in the meantime, Consortium is offering up an inventive replacement concert, which is sure to please you! The original date has been retained, as has the venue.

Consortium’s long-time friends, local chamber music trio “Musically Inclined” immediately stepped in to save the day, for which we thank them! They will present “Music to Delight”, a varied and appealing programme of music through the ages arranged for flute, violin, and cello. Doris Dungan, Madonna Lee, and Marc Palmquist will open with a short teaser of brisk, light, happy tunes from Consortium’s original Elizabethan programme, hoping to entice you to return for more next September.

They will then move through several eras, from the 17th century up to the dawn of the 20th. The Baroque will be represented by a suite of dances by Henry Purcell, arranged from some of his harpsichord pieces, as well as by music by the two most distinguished composers born in the year 1685.

Handel’s festive Music for the Royal Fireworks, a five-movement suite composed in 1749 for King George II, celebrated the end of a war and the signing of a peace treaty. Over 12,000 people attended the public dress rehearsal. Originally written for wind band and percussion, it was re-scored for full orchestra by the composer shortly after, for a performance at London’s Foundling Hospital.

In modern times, it was performed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace on June 1, 2002 on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, complete with fireworks. This latest Royal pyrotechnic display went off successfully, unlike the drama of 1749, when a pavilion went up in flames and some people suffered burns.

Many arrangements of this popular work exist. The Trio’s version includes three movements, and will commence with the famous La Réjouissance, often used as a wedding recessional. The Trio will also perform the sprightly Gigue from Bach’s third Orchestral Suite, plus the calm, lyrical Andante from his Brandenburg Concerto No. 2.

The dance element continues in gracious Classic-era divertimento-style trios by Haydn and Mozart, and in two movements, Menuet and Rigaudon, from Maurice Ravel’s neoclassical Le Tombeau de Couperin, a suite written originally for piano during WWI and arranged for orchestra a few years later. Interestingly, each movement was dedicated to the memory of one of Ravel’s friends who had been killed in the war while fighting. It is fitting that the Trio is performing these excerpts exactly one week after Remembrance Day, when the world honours the valiant armed forces members who lost their lives in that dreadful war.

A Romantic mood then takes over, in violinist Fritz Kreisler’s gently wistful waltz-like Liebesleid (Love’s Sorrows), and in two more ecstatic 19th-century waltzes: Johann Strauss II’s Tales from the Vienna Woods, which had originally featured a virtuoso zither part, and the famous, buoyant waltz from Charles Gounod’s opera Faust.

What better way to change the pace and wrap up an evening of dance than with a lively set of Scott Joplin rags, including his most famous, the Maple Leaf Rag! It was this piece which gave him the title “King of Ragtime”.

Consortium is delighted to welcome ‘Musically Inclined’, one of the finest ‘gigging’ chamber ensembles in Northwestern Ontario, as our special guests. The group is based in Thunder Bay, and performs year-round for varied functions and in a variety of venues. The Trio, made up of Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra musicians, was formed in 1988, filling a need in the community. After landing on a name, creating a business card, and establishing a web presence, the group became very active in the 1990s and 2020s.

Their constant presence at the Valhalla Inn and annual appearances at the ICCs August ‘Festa Italiana’ was always a sign that the TBSO season was just around the corner! Numerous Thunder Bay weddings, corporate events, Easter brunch celebrations and holidays have been graced by the ensemble’s music.

Their hallmark is “Always light and easy-listening ‘Classical’ music performed with polish and professionalism”, and that will definitely be much in evidence throughout the evening. It will be a concert to remember!

Looking forward to your presence at our next concert, “Mozart Meets Beethoven”, on Saturday, January 13, 2024, a great way to greet the New Year in style! E-Chen Hsu, Katie Stevens, Patrick Horn and Peter Cosbey perform music for clarinet and strings by the immortals, and tangos by Horn and Piazzolla round off the evening.

My personal thanks for your attendance and support, without which we could not continue. Wishing you a fine holiday season!


Posted in: Blog Post