Works for Strings, Part III

Sunday, December 12, 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Georg Philip Telemann:  Concerto for Viola
     Alexzandra Morris, soloist
José Pablo Moncayo: Huapango
Arcangelo Corelli:  Christmas Concerto
Luigi Boccherini:  Fandango
Gustav Holst:  St. Paul's Suite

Joel B. Lish, Director and Conductor

Admission is free; open seating.

To protect our audience and performers, FACE MASKS are required of all audience members.

Palisades Lutheran Church
15905 Sunset Blvd. (corner of El Medio)
Pacific Palisades,  California


Join us for an evening of music which we have hugely enjoyed preparing for you in rehearsal.

Corelli's "Christmas Concerto" (ca. 1690) is a crystal-perfect example of the Baroque concerto grosso, in which solo string players alternate with the full group. Its culminating final movement portrays the Nativity Scene. Our stringed instruments will gently imitate the musettes and pipes played by real shepherds in Corelli's time, which he (just like Handel, half a century later) transferred in his musical imagination to the "shepherds abiding in their fields" in the Biblical Book of Luke.

Another Baroque masterpiece is the Telemann Viola Concerto (ca. 1720), to be played by Alexzandra Morris, a talented young soloist who achieves a truly beautiful, heart-warming sound -- you must hear her to believe it.

Two otherwise very different pieces on the program evoke dancers in Spanish-speaking lands. The Fandango for strings and guitar (ca. 1770) is by Luigi Boccherini, an Italian composer who found work in the royal court of Madrid and was fascinated by the dance rhythms he heard there. The Huapango by the Mexican composer José Pablo Moncayo dates from 1941; Moncayo traveled to Veracruz to gather musical folk material, and he wove three of the tunes he learned into an utterly mesmerizing musical texture. Both works venture beyond our current limitation to strings to other instruments that can be played while wearing a mask: guitar, castanets, and tambourine.

The remaining work on the program is also based on folk material, the "St. Paul's Suite" of Gustav Holst (1913), who was fascinated with folksong and incorporated much of it into his compositions. This work was premiered by an all-female orchestra, consisting of Holst's own students at the elite St. Paul's school in London. Some of the folksongs Holst used for this work may be familiar to you, though if you don't know the piece this will almost certainly be the first time you have ever heard "The Irish Washerwoman" (a very boisterous tune) played in simultaneous counterpoint with "Greenselves" (!).

We hope you enjoy the program.