This Sunday, November 5th at 3:00pm at The Lutheran Church of the Cross the Mennonite Community Orchestra will be performing a concert that they are calling ‘The Power of Hope.” This particular concert will be a tribute to Ukraine, and will feature works by Ukrainian composers Mykola Lysenko, and Valentin Silvestrov. Also on the program the Orchestra will be performing Dvorak’s thrilling symphony no 7.
The two works by Ukrainian composers on the program are Mykola Lysenko’s boisterous and patriotic Taras Bulba Overture and Valentin Silvestrov’s very haunting and meditative Prayer for Ukraine.
When it came to programming these works, by Ukrainian composers, the Orchestra turned to recent Ukrainian Emigres that are in the ensemble. As conductor of the Mennonite Community Orchestra Andrea Bell explains, “We have a couple of excellent musicians who are recent emigres from Ukraine. They helped us chose some repertoire….there are so many great Ukrainian composers, and one of the works we chose I’d never even heard of…and then playing it, it’s fantastic, the orchestra loves it! It’s the Overture to Taras Bulba.”
Whereas the Overture to Taras Bulba is a huge work that makes use of full winds, huge string section and percussion, the Silvestrov Prayer for Ukraine, makes use of a much more paired back orchestra. The work was originally written for choir but has been adapted for orchestra by the composer and arranger Andreas Gies. “It’s a lovely arrangement…This version is pretty similar to the choral version. It has that very choral kind of fell to it…gorgeous sound and very lush,” says Bell.
The concert will also feature the premiere of a piano concert written by Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) composition student Liam Berry. His concerto titled “Rains Dance” will be performed by the pianist Georg Neuhofer who is also a piano student at CMU. As bell, states, “Georg Neuhofer is a fantastic pianist…it’s so exciting, it is such a great work! Liam Berry is a fantastic young composer. The piece is a beautiful work.’
The second half of the program will feature Dvorak’s beautifully expansive Slavonic flavored Symphony no. 7. For Bell this Symphony hold a very special place in her heart. She first performed it when she was a young cellist performing with the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra, and now she gets to conduct it. “It’s just such an exciting work for everyone to perform…it’s challenging, it’s gorgeous. It’s an absolute thrill for me to conduct it. It’s such an emotional work and very inspiring. There are these moments of beauty where you can just picture the bohemian landscape,” says Bell.
The Power of Hope concert with the Mennonite community Orchestra takes place this Sunday November 5th at 3:00 at the Lutheran Church of the Cross. This is sure to be a remarkable concert, full of music meant to stir up audience member’s National spirit and fervor.
For more details on the Mennonite Community Orchestra’s concert this Sunday visit their website.