A short ride in a fast machine

ORCHESTRA RIDES AGAIN: American composer and conductor Elmer Bernstein’s theme music for The Magnificent Seven is among an eclectic selection of works the Gisborne Civic Orchestra will perform in its Musical Mystery Tour concert next week. Picture supplied

A Short Ride in a Fast Machine is the intriguing title of composer John Adams’ work in the Gisborne Civic Orchestra’s eclectic programme for the Musical Mystery Tour concert next week.

Adams’ composition is minimalist and modern — and, no it’s not dissonant, violinist Richard Flyger assures the Guide. The work fairly canters along and includes dramatic, triumphal brass that Adams describes as a “fanfare for orchestra”. The composer’s works include Nixon in China (1987), which recounts Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to China and a 2002 choral commemoration piece for victims of the 9/11 attacks. On the Transmigration of Souls, earned the composer the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

In 2008 Columbia Business School assistant professor, Michael Mauskapf reported Adams’ A Short Ride in a Fast Machine was “the 10th most-performed orchestral work composed in the last 25 years".

“It requires a lot of concentration from the players and it builds up to quite a big effect,” says Flyger.

A brassy fanfare also features in the opening of a very different selection — the Grand March from Richard Wagner’s 1845 opera Tannhauser. The Grand March is an orotund, glorious pageant of a work. Based on two German legends, the opera’s story is said to centre on the struggle between sacred and profane love, and redemption through love.

“It’s a big Wagnerian piece, typical Wagnerian drama,” says Flyger.

In fact, Wagner’s opera was so . . . Wagnerian, even writing it troubled the composer with excitability and rushes of blood to the brain.

“I imagined I was ill and lay for whole days in bed,” he later confessed.

For the Musical Mystery Tour, the Gisborne Civic Orchestra has included brass players along with an arsenal of wind and string musicians.

“I’m excited that this year we also have two clarinet players,” says Flyger.

Smaller works for flute feature in the programme as well as a saxophone and piano surprise piece. The programme includes selections from the musical Hairspray, Baroque era Italian violinist Arcangelo Corelli’s Adagio and Allegro, 19th century composer Anton Rubinstein’s Romance, American composer Elmer Bernstein’s The Magnificent Seven, 19th century composer Robert Schumann’s “Rhenish” symphony and much more.

Flyger selected works for the programme but the violinist will join the orchestra for the performance which will be conducted by the multi-talented Chris Reynolds and performed in St Andrew’s Church.

“I love the acoustics in there,” says Flyger.

On the following weekend the orchestra will perform the same programme on Mothers Day in Wairoa.

  • The Gisborne Civic Orchestra with conductor Chris Reynolds presents Musical Mystery Tour at St Andrew’s Church, May 5, 3pm. Adults $10, children $5 at the door.

A Short Ride in a Fast Machine is the intriguing title of composer John Adams’ work in the Gisborne Civic Orchestra’s eclectic programme for the Musical Mystery Tour concert next week.

Adams’ composition is minimalist and modern — and, no it’s not dissonant, violinist Richard Flyger assures the Guide. The work fairly canters along and includes dramatic, triumphal brass that Adams describes as a “fanfare for orchestra”. The composer’s works include Nixon in China (1987), which recounts Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to China and a 2002 choral commemoration piece for victims of the 9/11 attacks. On the Transmigration of Souls, earned the composer the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

In 2008 Columbia Business School assistant professor, Michael Mauskapf reported Adams’ A Short Ride in a Fast Machine was “the 10th most-performed orchestral work composed in the last 25 years".

“It requires a lot of concentration from the players and it builds up to quite a big effect,” says Flyger.

A brassy fanfare also features in the opening of a very different selection — the Grand March from Richard Wagner’s 1845 opera Tannhauser. The Grand March is an orotund, glorious pageant of a work. Based on two German legends, the opera’s story is said to centre on the struggle between sacred and profane love, and redemption through love.

“It’s a big Wagnerian piece, typical Wagnerian drama,” says Flyger.

In fact, Wagner’s opera was so . . . Wagnerian, even writing it troubled the composer with excitability and rushes of blood to the brain.

“I imagined I was ill and lay for whole days in bed,” he later confessed.

For the Musical Mystery Tour, the Gisborne Civic Orchestra has included brass players along with an arsenal of wind and string musicians.

“I’m excited that this year we also have two clarinet players,” says Flyger.

Smaller works for flute feature in the programme as well as a saxophone and piano surprise piece. The programme includes selections from the musical Hairspray, Baroque era Italian violinist Arcangelo Corelli’s Adagio and Allegro, 19th century composer Anton Rubinstein’s Romance, American composer Elmer Bernstein’s The Magnificent Seven, 19th century composer Robert Schumann’s “Rhenish” symphony and much more.

Flyger selected works for the programme but the violinist will join the orchestra for the performance which will be conducted by the multi-talented Chris Reynolds and performed in St Andrew’s Church.

“I love the acoustics in there,” says Flyger.

On the following weekend the orchestra will perform the same programme on Mothers Day in Wairoa.

  • The Gisborne Civic Orchestra with conductor Chris Reynolds presents Musical Mystery Tour at St Andrew’s Church, May 5, 3pm. Adults $10, children $5 at the door.
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