SSO CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES 2: “Song of the Oboe”
The Sudbury Symphony String Quartet will be joined by virtuoso oboist Joseph Salvalaggio to explore the instrument’s range and beauty. Centered around Mozart’s elegant Oboe Quartet, the only chamber music he wrote for the oboe, we will feature Mozetich’s hauntingly beautiful Calla Lillies, and “Searching for Sophia, a piece written by Elizabeth Raum, who is a friend of the symphony and has joined the SSO Oboe section on a number of occasions.
ProgrammeMarjan Mozetich (Canadian) – Calla LilliesWolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Oboe Quartet in F major
Elizabeth Raum (Canadian) – Searching for Sophia
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Sudbury Symphony String Quartet will be playing Music For the Family from the World of Tangos.
Searching for Sophia, Elizabeth Raum
Searching for Sophia grew out of the idea for a ballet that would represent the women of the Bible who had no voice. Although the ballet never took place, the idea intrigues Raum, who wrote the piece originally as a piano trio, premiered by the Brandon University Trio in 1995. The incarnation for oboe came from a request from oboist Kristine Bogyo for the Mooredale Concerts “Song of Lilith” tour. The “Sophia” legend is very ancient, and, like all legends, there are many versions. A very important part of the Gnostic movement, she evolved with many names and faces depending on the time and religion. In some versions she seems to be the equivalent of God, and in some she was the actual creator of God. Then, around the 4th and 5th centuries, the figure was purged from orthodox Christian tradition and replaced by the “Son.”
The piece is delivered in three movements: Dance, based on childhood memories of tunes heard at Raum’s grandmother’s house, evokes a sense of birth and awakening. Prayer is dirge-like and depicts the prison of tradition that weighs heavily on women. The last movement, Fantasy on a Traditional Theme, is based on a song passed down from Raum’s mother, to Elizabeth’s own children. It begins with harsh dissonant chords from the strings, depicting the patriarchy that would subjugate Sophia, but the melody, first introduced by the oboe, shines through. There’s a constant back and forth between the theme and the chords, a sermon-like recitative, struggle, and finally the joy of Sophia emerging triumphant at the end.
Calla Lilies, Marjan Mozetich
This, the second movement of Mozetich’s enchanting Oboe Concerto, is a hauntingly beautiful impressionistic piece. With Satie-like brush strokes, Marjan uses the strings to paint a beautiful canvas for the push and pull of the soaring oboe melody. Not without its moments of drama, this piece makes use of both the luminous texture of the strings while also deftly using the full range of the oboe to create lines that are at times both pleading, and defiant.
Mozart Oboe Quartet
The Oboe Quartet in F major, K. 370/368b, was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in early 1781. Written for oboist Friedrich Ramm, Mozart composed the quartet in order to show off his virtuosity and the improvements that had been made to the oboe at that time. One way that this piece showed off the instrument was the use of the “high F” above the staff, a note rarely played in any repertoire previously written for the oboe. The piece for the oboe is written in three movements. A lively Allegro begins the piece, full of technical work that uses the oboe in an almost string-like manner, followed by a tension-filled Adagio, and finally concluding with the raucous Rondeau: Allegro. A favourite among oboists and audiences alike, this piece truly showcases the genius of Mozarts’s chamber music writing at its finest.