Those first four notes. Three short, one long. Instantly, classical music was atomised, the symphonic form stripped down and rebuilt. No wonder it’s the most famous single moment in Western classical music; the point of ‘arrival’ for every aspiring orchestral player.
The second Sydney Youth Orchestra concert for 2019 sees the orchestra take on this major artwork in Western culture in what promises to be a revelatory performance under Chief Conductor Alexander Briger. For many in the orchestra, this will be a moment of first exposure to the Fifth in its complex entirety; the music being as new to them as it was to a bewildered Viennese audience back in 1808.
Before Beethoven’s groundbreaking arc of psychodrama, the SYO brings us the portrait of a simpler, more serene world in the orchestral suite from Aaron Copland’s ballet from 1944, Appalachian Spring. A return to diatonicism at a time when the world and Western art music was shredding apart, the work is memorable for its treatment of the old Shaker song Simple Gifts, setting a sonic model for an ‘American’ musical voice – an evocation of open fields, wide skies and endless possibilities.
If you are a Sydney Youth Orchestra musician please book your tickets by calling the City Recital Hall Box Office on 02 8256 2222.
Details are correct at time of publication