“The First World War had a significant impact on 20th Century music. It was the first-time people connected to each other around the globe.” The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director Mark Turner had no question in his mind when it came to programming the SSO’s November performance. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI and it was a time that changed the world of classical music.
“Popular songs became really prevalent,” Turner explains. “The composers’ sound changed. Many of them reflected in music what they witnessed during the war.”
“The composers’ sound changed. Many of them reflected in music what they witnessed during the war.”
Among the composers whose work will be celebrated on November 10 is Maurice Ravel who’s Le Tombeau de Couperin is dedicated to friends he lost in the war. Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in e minor Op. 85 is a heartbreaking piece that reflects on the loss his family and his community experienced. Turner says not all the music on the program is sad.
“Many pieces that came out of that time are celebratory. Frederic Delius’s A Song Before Sunrise is a good example of someone who was caught up in the turmoil of war who turned to write something entertaining, more celebratory.”
Celebrated Quebec cellist Stéphane Tétreault will be joining the SSO to play the Elgar concerto. Tétreault is recently returned from a European tour that garnered him rave reviews.
“I’ve been working to bring Stéphane to Saskatoon for 7 years,” says Turner. “He’s one of the next great generations of musicians. He’s a remarkable talent.”
Tétreault was a protégé of Quebec philanthropist Jaqueline Desmarais who died earlier this year. In 2012 he was gifted a 1707 Stradivarius, the instrument he will use to perform in Saskatoon.
Along with wartime composers, the SSO will open with a more contemporary response to war. John Burge’s Flanders Fields Reflections won the 2009 Juno award for Best Canadian Classical Composition. The music draws inspiration from John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields.
SSO – We Will Remember
Saturday Nov. 10, 2018
Tickets $34 – $73
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