Blast from the Past – Tenth Anniversary Concert Year

December 22, 2013

ImageOn January 19, 2014 the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra will continue their 2013-2014 concert season with a “Blast From the Past”, playing favorite works from previous years to commemorate the orchestra’s 10th anniversary.   The program at Kahilu Theater in Waimea will feature solo performances by concertmaster Ursula Vietze, principal second violinist Joel Gimpel and artistic director Dr. Madeline Schatz in Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”.

The orchestra’s string section will be highlighted in this program, which will also include Mendelssohn’s lively “Swiss Symphony” and Barber’s plaintive “Adagio”.

The concert begins at 4:00 pm.  Tickets will be $20.00/$15.00/$10.00 & $5.00, depending on seating, and they can be purchased online, at Kahilu’s box office, or at the door.

To purchase tickets online,  visit Kahilu Theater’s website at: this link

Antonio Vivaldi’s “Le quattro stagioni”, (The Four Seasons) composed in 1723, is among the most familiar pieces of baroque music, and Vivaldi’s best-known work. Vivaldi, who was highly inventive and avant-garde for his time, introduced the concept of instrumental music that tells a story with these compositions, a set of four violin concertos depicting the four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter.  First published in 1725 as part of a set of “Twelve concerti, Op. 8” titled “Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione”, (The Contest Between Harmony and Invention), each concerto is in three movements, with a slow movement in between two fast movements.  As a violin virtuoso, Vivaldi extended the technique of the instrument, illustrated by the complexity of the solo parts for these concertos.

Ursula Vietze will reprise her spectacular October 2005 performance of Concerto No. 1 in E Major, “La Primavera” (Spring), which depicts the bird song, melting snow and gentle breezes of the spring season.  For this concert, she will also perform Concerto No. 3 in E Major, “L’Autunno” (Autumn), a musical celebration of the bountiful harvest and the beginning of the fall hunt.  Vietze is founder and manager of Magic Strings ensemble, as well as concertmaster of the Kamuela Philharmonic and Kona Music Society Orchestras.  She studied at the Conservatory of Music in Frankfurt, Germany and has played with many different orchestras in both Germany and the US. She was a member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Johann Strauss Orchestra in Germany and has played with the Honolulu Symphony and Maui Symphony Orchestras. A resident of Hawaii since 1989, Vietze teaches violin and piano at Ursula’s Music Studio in Kona.

Joel Gimpel also soloed with the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2005, on Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, “L’Estate” (Summer), which portrays searing summer heat and sometimes violent storms.  A West Hawaii Today review of Gimpel’s performance said he played the concerto with “a foot stomping enthusiasm that echoed the fierce thunder of the music”.  Gimpel, who has a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois, was a music teacher and orchestra director in the East Aurora, Illinois schools.  He was also concertmaster of the Fox Valley Symphony, principal cellist with the DuPage Symphony, first violinist with the St. Louis Symphony, principal second violin with the Highland Park Strings, jobbing violinist and bass guitarist with dance and show bands in Chicago, and while attending law school, violinist and bassist in the College Inn Orchestra of the Sherman Hotel.  Upon retirement from his legal position, Gimpel moved to Kona where he’s continued his musical pursuits. Besides acting as principal second violinist for the Kamuela Philharmonic, he plays violin and viola for private parties and celebrations, and in solo and chamber music recitals.  He is a member of Kona’s Traveling Jewish Wedding Band, is the violinist for many local theatre productions, and often acts as Music Director at the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu.

Dr. Madeline Schatz will be the soloist on Concerto No. 4 in F Minor: “L’Inverno”(Winter).  The ice and freezing cold of the winter season is reflected in the music of this piece.  Although in recent years Dr. Schatz has concentrated on teaching strings and piano, and developing the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra as artistic director and conductor, she moved to Hawaii Island after a long, successful career as a concert violinist and violist, so hearing her violin solo on this concerto should be a rare treat.  As well as performing on violin and viola with major orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Los Angles Chamber Orchestra, Dr. Schatz has appeared with numerous other orchestras, both nationally in Utah, New Mexico, Washington, Virginia and Oregon, and internationally in London, England as a concert artist and guest conductor. She won the grand prize at the international Coleman Chamber Music Competition five times and has studied chamber music with the Julliard, Netherlands and Amadeus Quartets.  She has also recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra.

Prolific German composer Felix Mendelssohn, referred to by his contemporary Robert Schumann as the Mozart of the 19th century, composed more than 400 pieces by the time he died at age 38.  He was only 14 years old when he wrote String Symphony No. 9 (Swiss Symphony) after a family sightseeing trip to Lucerne, Switzerland.  The work features a Swiss folk melody, and the third movement is reminiscent of mountain echoes.  It includes an alpine yodel, something which fascinated the young Mendelssohn. One of his best known works, Overture to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, was composed at age 17.  Another popular piece, “Hebrides Overture” was inspired by his impressions of Scotland.  His music was the essence of Romanticism, with its expression of feelings and emotions.  Good humor and optimism characterize Mendelssohn’s music, and his serene melodic style is universally appealing.   The orchestra first performed this piece at their debut concert on March 21, 2004, is looking forward to an even better performance of the piece for this concert.

Samuel Barber arranged the second movement of his “String Quartet, Op. 11” to create the beautiful “Adagio for Strings” in 1936.  It is certainly the composer’s best known work, and some music critics consider it the most popular of all 20th century orchestral works. The melody of the piece, which first slowly ascends and then descends in a stepwise fashion, pauses after four climactic chords, then resumes the opening theme and fades away, calling up a sense of sadness and deep emotion.  It has been used in numerous television shows and movies (most famously as the soundtrack to the movie “Platoon”), one factor in the vast popularity of the work.  Members of the Kamuela Philharmonic requested Dr. Schatz to program this piece for their winter concert on January 16, 2005 and are looking forward to the opportunity to play it again.

The mission of the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society is to present live, high-quality orchestral music to BigIsland audiences, and to further the musical education of young people.  As a charitable organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, donations to help us accomplish that mission may be tax deductible.  Any contributions placed in our calabash during concerts, mailed to us at P.O. Box 2597, Kamuela, HI96743, or done via our website at kamuelaphil.org are greatly appreciated.  Special thanks go to Kahilu Theater and West Hawaii Today for helping to make this performance possible. We look forward to seeing you at our concerts.

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