On Saturday 18 February, the National Symphony Orchestra returns to Waterford for it’s 75th birthday celebration featuring three showcase works for orchestra: a masterpiece symphony rooted in the ageless forests of Bohemia, a dazzling violin concerto with a Turkish tinge, and a wartime Overture with a hidden message of hope.
The ‘fearless… exuberant, exhilarating… unforgettable’ (The Guardian) Jonathon Heyward conducts, with Francesca Dego’s ‘technical finesse and strong musicality’ (Gramophone) being the icing on the cake.
The prolific Grażyna Bacewicz led the charge for women composers in her native Poland achieving international recognition that eluded many of her peers. Composed in a Warsaw under brutal Nazi occupation, her dramatic Overture contained a defiant message as timpani beat out the Morse code for ‘V’ – a promise of victory against insurmountable odds in a work that blazes with energy and light.
Though not yet out of his teens when he composed it, the Turkish Violin Concerto is even so vintage Mozart: graceful and poised, solo and orchestral lines set down with spellbinding eloquence, string voices ventriloquising for absent percussion, a middle movement of filigree delicacy, and a finale with a cheeky surprise as the exotic sounds of the Ottoman empire are suddenly conjured.
Lit up by birdsong, images of country life, rustic revelry and a rousing finale guaranteed to send you out into a cold, winter’s night with a warming, summer’s stride in your step, A characterful, picturesque love song to his Bohemian homeland, Dvořák’s gorgeous, tune-filled Eighth Symphony boasts one of his most memorable melodies.
Jonathon Heyward, conductor
Francesca Dego, violin
Grażyna Bacewicz Overture
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5
Dvořák Symphony No. 8
The Symphony Club of Waterford is proudly funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and Waterford City and County Council.