Mapping the music: Yan & SSO set sail in Transatlantic Cruise
“With travel, there’s so much nostalgia. It’s the importance of leaving things behind and hope for the future.” – Judith Yan
For SSO guest conductor Judith Yan, every performance should be like a journey. (Antonijevic)
From Europe to Asia, the United States to back home in Canada, Maestra Judith Yan has been all over the world and for her the performance is always about a journey.
“I try to weave a narrative through every performance. When we were planning this SSO performance we thought, ‘Why not take the audience back to the glamorous cruise on the Queen Mary?’” Yan explains, “This musical journey will evoke memories, the wistfulness of travel and the anticipation of heading out into the unknown.”
The SSO’s Transatlantic Cruise sets off from the docks at Southampton, passes the coast of Newfoundland and arrives in New York City all in a one-hour live stream. Yan was so passionate about this program, the conductor even plotted out the actual journey, giving the audience markers along the way for each piece in the program.
“You can feel the open water with Ruth Gipps’ Seascape and hear the noisy dining room in Jean Sibelius’ Suite Mignonne.”
The musical journey Yan has mapped out for the audience takes them from the UK shores to New York City harbour. (Judith Yan)
“Elgar’s Serenade for Strings for example is all about the excitement of embarking on an adventure. The first movement is all about uncertainty and passion,” says Yann. “You can feel the open water with Ruth Gipps’ Seascape and hear the noisy dining room in Jean Sibelius’ Suite Mignonne.” The performance will also feature Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite, Essay on Newfoundland Themes by Kenneth Peacock and the ship will arrive safely in the New York Harbour with Aaron Copland’s Quiet City.
It will be a long time before many of us can enjoy a pleasure cruise on the open ocean and the SSO hopes this will help wet the whistle. Yan feels that same longing for travel abroad and was delighted when the SSO invited her to come along on this musical journey.
“We really wanted to create a fun, happy program,” says Yan. “It is also influenced by the quieter moments of missing the things we all used to enjoy. Having music help us through this time, to allow us to travel in our minds is so wonderful and I hope the audience is ready to come along.”