Concert Program (click on the title to see the detailed study guide for each piece)
Download the complete Colors of Music Study Guide in PDF
Why this concert is called The Colors of Music
By Warren Cohen, Music Director, MusicaNova Orchestra
The Colors of Music opens the MusicaNova Orchestra concert series for the 2015-16 season on November 1, 2015 at 4 PM, at Central United Methodist Church in the Phoenix Central Arts District.
To the extent that there is a unifying theme to the concert, it is that all of the pieces on the program depend a great deal on the sounds of the instruments for their effect and appeal. All of the works are, in different ways, beautiful, and they all rely on beauty of sound rather than some great structure, or interesting harmonies, or great tunes to make their point (although El Amor Brujo ends with a great tune).
Visions and Miracles exploits the sound of massed strings in a very colorful way. It is interesting to see that he almost never thins out the sound the way most composers would by having a section where certain instruments do not play-everyone is playing all the time! The effect is joyful, bright, and celebratory.
The Conus Violin Concerto exploits many ways that the sound of a solo violin can create a mood just by using different techniques to play the instrument. In this work the orchestra plays a very secondary role, to allow the listener to focus on the sound of the violin.
Karalyn Schubring was clearly enjoying the sound of a big orchestra, especially a brass section, in writing Symphonic Dance No. 1, her first work for orchestra. It can be understood as celebrating that orchestral sound.
El Amor Brujo tells a story through the colorful interplay of instruments, which he uses in a huge variety of ways-solo strings mixed with string sections, muted trumpets played loudly, long wind solos and ending with the sounds of bells, both real and simulated. At the end of the concert we would hope that everyone had a much better understanding of how color alone can be a huge element in making music appealing and approachable.