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Sad Waltz—Valse Triste

Pro Musica Youth Chamber Orchestra

By Tim Hazell

Pro Musica’s thirty-member Youth Chamber Orchestra will perform on the historic Bellas Artes patio on Sunday, May 6, at 12:30pm. The event is part of their ongoing commitment to bring classical music to people of all ages in a beautiful setting. Over three hundred music lovers attended the orchestra’s last concert, including families who brought their children along. These recitals are becoming a wonderful way to begin a leisurely Sunday afternoon in San Miguel de Allende!

The concert will open with an introduction from its excellent brass quintet, featuring excerpts from Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition. The full orchestra will then perform the famous second Andante movement from Haydn’s Symphony 101 in D Major (Clock), with its characteristic “ticking” rhythm, followed by the Valse Triste (Sad Waltz), Op. 44. This is a short orchestral work by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, originally part of the incidental music he composed for his brother-in-law Arvid Järnefelt’s 1903 play Kuolema (Death). Today, it is far better known as a separate concert piece.

The original version was presented in 1903 as Tempo di valse lentePoco risoluto. The background to the music as it functions within the original Kuolema play was expanded upon in the program notes for the production. Here is an excerpt:

“It is night. The son, who has been watching beside the bedside of his sick mother, has fallen asleep from sheer weariness. Gradually a ruddy light is diffused through the room. There is a sound of distant music; the glow and the music steal nearer until the strains of a waltz melody float distantly to our ears.”

Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country’s greatest composer and is often credited with having helped Finland develop a national identity through his music during its struggle for independence from Russia. The core of his oeuvre is a set of seven symphonies which continue to be performed and recorded in his home country and internationally. His best-known compositions are Finlandia, The Karelia Suite, Valse Triste, The Violin Concert, and “The Swan of Tuonela” (from the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by nature and Nordic mythology.

Our string quartet will deliver a rousing performance of Antonin Dvorak’s Quartet Number 12 in F major (American) at half-time. The Youth Chamber Orchestra is presenting a Music For Everyone series of concerts on the first Sunday of each month for the remainder of 2018. Comfortable seating will be provided for the audience. There is no charge, but donations are welcome. Bellas Artes organizers expect that these events will grow in popularity to become part of year-round musical offerings for the general public!

The special Pro Musica Youth Chamber Orchestra event on Sunday, May 6 will showcase some of Mexico’s finest young talents! Come one, come all, bring the family, and show your support!



Pro Musica Youth Chamber Orchestra

Sun, May 06, 12:30pm

Bellas Artes

Hernández Macías 75, Centro





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