The 2017-2018 MusicaNova Orchestra Concert Season

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Ports of Call:
Music From Around the World

April 22 – 4:00 PM
Central United Methodist Church
1875 North Central Avenue at Palm Lane

Lush musical imagery from exotic locales around the world, with visions from a Mediterranean cruise, Russia for the death of a tyrant, interpretations of American jazz on Danish streets, and the new world inspired by Native American music. 


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St. John Passion:
An Eastertide Oratorio

March 25 – 3:00 PM
Scottsdale Presbyterian Church
3421 North Hayden Road

The MusicaNova Orchestra, Chorus, and Soloists perform this controversial work, one of Bach’s most unusual creations. A pre-concert discussion looks at the sources of the work, and the audience is invited to sing the hymn-like chorales.


A Day With Papa Haydn:
The Day Trilogy of Symphonies

January 27 – 3:00 PM
at Scottsdale Presbyterian Church
January 28 – 4:00 PM
at Central United Methodist Church

Haydn’s Day Trilogy – the 6th (Le Matin, “Morning,”) 7th (Le Midi, “Mid-Day,”) and 8th (Le Soir, “Evening) Symphonies – comprise a fascinating program of music, spanning gentle and jubilant refrains of daybreak to the evocative moods of twilight.


photo of an old movie projector

Mid-Century Masters:
Twentieth Century English Composers

October 29 at 4:00 PM
Central United Methodist Church

Be enveloped in strikingly cinematic sounds and themes, as MusicaNova Orchestra performs works from English composers Richard Arnell, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Malcolm Arnold, all prolific creators of symphonic works and familiar film scores.


$15 plus shipping
at the MusicaNova Online Store

Mid-Century Masters: Twentieth Century English Composers

October 29 – 4 PM at Central United Methodist Church, Phoenix

  • Richard Arnell: Symphony no. 6 “The Anvil”
  • Malcolm Arnold: Symphony no. 5, Op. 74
  • R. Vaughan Williams: Concerto Grosso for String Orchestras – featuring the Harmony Project-Phoenix Orchestra
  • J. M. Gerraughty, MusicaNova Composition Fellow: Stand in the Center and Extend Outward (World Premiere)

Click here for detailed program notes and composer biographies.

English music, 20th century music and movie music are all themes of this concert. Although the Vaughan Williams piece was written in 1936, the Arnold in 1960 and the Arnell in 1992, they were all active, famous and familiar composers in the England of the 1950s.

All three symphonies are strikingly cinematic. That’s not surprising, as all three composers wrote film music, and all are well known as Symphonists: Arnold and Vaughan Williams wrote nine symphonies each, and Arnell wrote six (plus a “Sinfonia Quasi Variazione” that he said was ‘really his 1st Symphony”).

A Day With Papa Haydn: The Morning, Mid-Day, and Evening Symphonies

January 27, 2018 – 3 PM at Scottsdale Presbyterian Church
January 28, 2018 – 4 PM at Central United Methodist Church

  • Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony no. 6 “Le Matin”

  • Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony no. 7 “Le Midi”

  • Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony no. 8 “Le Soir”

Haydn’s Morning, Mid-Day, and Evening symphonies, now called the “Day Trilogy,” were the first he wrote after taking the appointment as Deputy Kapellmeister (Music Master) at the Court of Prince Nikolaus I. Esterhazy, “The Magnificent,” in 1761. Haydn meant to both establish himself and take over from the Kapellmeister by showing skills that his older colleague could only dream of.

The innovative symphonies in the trilogy are in a hybrid form, with solos for all the principal players in the orchestra (music buffs may say they sound as much like a concerto grosso as a symphony). Haydn was wooing the musicians in the court orchestra, who received additional pay for playing solos! The highly sophisticated music was a delightful shock to the court. Sure enough, he was soon in charge of all music for the Prince.

The depiction of a sunrise at the opening of Symphony No. 6 is deeply symbolic of a new beginning for Haydn, and the beginning of a new era of music. The Classical era of musical composition began with these symphonies, succeeding the Baroque era of Bach and Handel, and realized brilliantly by such pupils of Haydn as Mozart and Beethoven.

Click here to see a biography of the composer and detailed program notes.

$15 plus shipping
at the MusicaNova Online Store

$15 plus shipping
at the MusicaNova Online Store

St. John Passion: An Eastertide Oratorio

March 25, 2018 – 3 PM at Scottsdale Presbyterian Church

  • J. S. Bach, St. John Passion

  • Performed by the MusicaNova Orchestra, Soloists, and Chorus

  • Audience invited to sing along with the hymn-like Chorales   Click here to learn more

  • A pre-concert discussion at 2 PM looks at the background of the work

One of Bach’s most unusual creations, the oratorio recounts the last days in the life of Jesus, based on  the Luther Bible, Martin Luther’s own German translation from the Greek, through the voices of The Evangelist, Jesus, and Pontius Pilate.  The MusicaNova Singers, comprising the finest professional singers in the Valley of the Sun, perform Bach’s glorious arias and choruses, joined by the renowned MusicaNova Orchestra, playing the original orchestration on period instruments.  In a unique feature, the oratorio will be sung in English (Novello edition) and audience members are invited to sing along with the many hymn-like chorales as they did in Bach’s day.

A pre-concert discussion at 2 PM, led by Dr. Bruce Johnson, pastor of Scottsdale Presbyterian, and Warren Cohen, MusicaNova Music Director, explores backgrounds of both the text and music.

Click to see the program listing including recitatives, arias, choruses, and chorales, and all vocal soloists.

Click to see the complete program notes by conductor Warren Cohen.

Ports of Call: Music From Around the World

April 22, 2018 – 4 PM at Central United Methodist Church

  • Jacques Ibert: Ports of Call

  • Carl Nielsen: Clarinet Concerto No. 57, Alex Dergal, soloist

  • W. A. Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23, K.488 Vitlaus von Horn, soloist

  • Jean-Philippe Rameau: Suite from “Les Indes Galantes”

  • Zachary Bush, MusicaNova Composition Fellow: Trepidation (world premiere)

The idea of traveling through music is central to this program. First, the Ibert piece Ports of Call, imagines a musical journey on a Mediterranean cruise, as you stop off at various points along the way.  Mozart’s concerto, heard at the eponymous moment in the current film “Death of Stalin,” will be different than any performance you have heard before.  The way Mozart would have performed it himself, it’s full of improvisations and elaborations by the soloist found nowhere in the written score.

Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto sounds like jazz had infused the Danish character of the music, and the Rameau Suite from Les Indes Galantes is a musical journey through the New World — a truly exotic location for an 18th Century French composer. The incredible “Danse des Sauvages” swings like a ragtime number, and was inspired by Rameau hearing Native American music at an exhibition in Paris some years before he wrote the opera!

In all of these works the exotic elements are integrated in a style that is distinctive to the composer, whose identity remains intact even as he journeys musically into another realm.

Click to read the complete Ports of Call program notes.

Click to read the bios of the soloists and the Composition Fellow.

$15 plus shipping
at the MusicaNova Online Store

Dergal-van Horn

MusicaNova Orchestra concerts are recorded by Vault Mastering for release on archival CD and broadcast on public radio and television throughout Arizona

Vault Mastering Studios
City of Tempe Arts Grants

General Admission $20 – Seniors and Students $15
Under 18 free with a paid admission – 
Available online or at the door

MusicaNova Orchestra Concerts are supported in part by grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, the Scottsdale League for the Arts, and Tempe Arts Grants

Arizona Commission on the Arts
Scottsdale League for the Arts