On 4 December, we welcomed our usual audience of “friendly eavesdroppers” to Da Capo’s Winter Soirée.
The whole orchestra played five pieces. The rest of the programme was a varied mix of solos and chamber music, by orchestra members and a few visitors. One small woodwind group included three players who had joined the orchestra only in September!
Mendelssohn – Frohlocket ihr Völker auf Erde. We welcomed the audience with this cheerful Christmas tune originally for 8-part choir. Its name means “Rejoice, ye people on Earth”.
Bach – O Jesulein süss – “O sweet little Jesus”. One of the challenges for the orchestra this term was to play this piece in a smooth, flowing way with no gaps.
Scriabin – Reverie. This piece representing a daydream had the season’s most difficult rhythm and most difficult notes – but not too fast, and with lots of repetition.
Pichl – Rondo in Tempo di Giga. A giga was a jolly dance. The cellos get a featured spot with a different tune, so the rest of the orchestra gets a chance to practise playing quietly.
Michael Altenburg – Ein wunderschönes Kindelein, leading into In Dulci Jubilo, was published at the beginning of the 17th century for voices in six parts, which might also have been accompanied by instruments. The title refers to baby Jesus and means “a wonderfully beautiful little child”. In Dulci Jubilo goes back even further than that, showing that composers are always picking up tunes and rearranging them!