Two of orchestral music’s most prolific composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn, were featured in a thrilling concert recently in Winkler. The 47th season of Southern Manitoba Concerts (SMC) concluded onsmc final concert mar2019 2 Sunday, March 31st with a performance by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the Mennonite Brethren Church. Concert emcee, and CFAM Radio 950 Classical Music Host, Terry Klippenstein noted that, while they are based in Winnipeg, those of us beyond the Perimeter like to think of the WSO as “our” orchestra too. This claim was only strengthened during this rousing and majestic concert.

 

From the opening notes, the orchestra launched into full-speed flight with the Overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro opera, a familiar and energetic piece that provided a crowd-pleasing opening. Maestro Julian Pellicano, the WSO’s personable and enthusiastic Resident Conductor, then treated the audience to a quick historical trek, highlighting the lives and work of the afternoon’s featured composers. Most notable is the fact that both Mozart and Mendelssohn were child prodigies, already producing concert-worthy symphonies and operas during childhood. Both men created a great volume of work during their relatively brief lives.

 

The first of two major works performed was Mozart’s well-known and loved Symphony No. 40 in G minor. Maestro Pellicano noted that G Minor is a key in which Mozart expressed struggle. This comes through in dark, pacing rhythms and melodies, which nevertheless give way to bursts of energetic and soaring music, and then again to softer dance-like moments. Symphony No. 40 is a delight to behold, truly a great creation of one of the greatest masters.

 

After a brief intermission with refreshments, the audience was treated to Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, popularly known as the Scottish Symphony, having been inspired by Mendelssohn’s tour of Scotland as a young man. This musical masterpiece features rich melodic textures, from the clean solo voice of the violins to the full power of strings, winds and brass. Melody and tempo drives the music relentlessly forward, drawing listeners along on an exciting musical journey. Perhaps one can imagine Mendelssohn hiking the Scottish Highlands, eagerly ascending the heights and traversing the valleys, his creative mind stirred by sensory experience to be turned into music, as only a genius composer can do.

 

A visit to Winkler by this outstanding orchestra, while enjoyed by all, also provides inspiration for young local musicians, some of whom shared their own musical performances in the lobby as concert-goers arrived.

 

The board of SMC continues striving to bring premier music to local concert venues. Featured in the 2019-2020 season will be the internationally acclaimed Canadian Brass. Interested music-lovers are encouraged to visit southernmanitobaconcerts.org for information on the upcoming season and ticket subscriptions.

 

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