Homelands – the importance of the traditions, character and colour of where we come from – is the focus of Resonance Ensemble’s next concert at The Piano, on Sunday 25 September at 3pm, with music by Smetana, Grieg, Rossini and Britten.
Bedřich Smetana led the charge of the Czech Nationalist movement in music. His opera The Bartered Bride is full of lively Czech rhythms and colours, especially in the Overture and Dances which Resonance Ensemble will perform in this programme. This composer is considered to have been the leader in establishing a musical style with a genuinely Czech flavour in the face of the European dominance of German, Austrian and French musical traditions, basing his music on the folk dances and songs of Bohemia.
Edvard Grieg developed a distinctively Norwegian flavour by also using the characteristics of his homeland’s folk music. The suite taken from the music he wrote for Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt contains some of the most well-known pieces of the nineteenth century, from the atmospheric Morning Mood to the exciting and dramatic In the Hall of the Mountain King.
Benjamin Britten’s Courtly Dances from his opera Gloriana feature the composer’s highly original take on English dance forms of the Elizabethan age, using the modern orchestra to imitate instruments of the sixteenth century. The result is colourful, quirky, and very entertaining.
Even more entertaining are Britten’s two suites based on the music of Rossini. If Rossini’s comic operas are not already humorous enough, in the Matinées Musicales and Soirées Musicales Britten adds a degree of sparkling wit that is pure delight, especially in the imaginatively-devised performance that Resonance Ensemble will present.