David Gilbert's 2017-2018 SEASON NOTES

 

The GSO's 2017-2018 Season is coming soon. An exciting roster of soloists will be with us. A brilliant young cellist will be making his debut with the GSO in November. He will be playing the wonderfully lyric Dvořák Concerto. Two of our latest finds will be returning: the young Finnish pianist, Juho Pohjonen, who will play the Concerto No. 5 by Saint-Saëns, and the fabulous violinist Elissa Lee Koljonen will play the beautiful Korngold Concerto. Two greats will also return: Jon Nakamatsu will play the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, and violinist Elmar Oliveira will return to play the exciting Hoffer concerto and Beethoven's Romance No. 2.

As usual, the GSO seeks to bring variety, color, and historic scope to our programs. Each program contains at least one of the great, beloved classics, as well as an overview of the centuries and styles. Newcomers to our repertoire this season include Josef Suk's "Fantastic Scherzo" in October. Suk was a pupil and protege of Dvořák. They were very close and Suk married Dvořák's daughter. The "Fantastic Scherzo" was written in 1903. It is full of color, high spirits, and is brilliantly scored for the full Romantic orchestra.

In November, the GSO will play the Sinfonietta No. 2 by Laszlo Lajtha. Lajtha is considered one of the three most important Hungarian composers, the others being Bartók and Kodály. He should be much better known in this country. Like Bartók and Kodály, indeed with them, he researched the folk music of Hungary. He forged a brilliant style for himself. The Sinfonietta No. 2 is a real virtuoso piece ideal to show off the GSO's fine string section.

Erich Korngold, whose violin concerto will be played in January, was an extraordinary prodigy, already famous in Europe before he was 20. However, due to the necessity of escaping from Europe during the Second World War, he, like many European musicians, found work in Hollywood. He was instrumental in creating the first true "Hollywood" style of film music. At the same time he continued writing his own classical style, and he wrote the beautiful Violin Concerto for Jascha Heifetz in 1947.

At our final concert in April, Elmar Oliveira will play Bernard Hoffer's Violin Concerto. Many people in Greenwich may remember his engaging English Horn Concerto, which Thomas Stacy played with the GSO a while back. The Violin Concerto was written for Elmar Oliveira, who has recently recorded it. Hoffer is also well known for several commercial successes, such as the music for the cartoon series, "Thundercats," and the title music for the "MacNeil/Lehrer Report." The Violin Concerto is a delightful blend of commercial, jazz, and classical styles. Mr. Oliveira will then play the beautiful Romance No. 2 by Beethoven. And orchestrally, the season ends with Rachmaninoff's great Symphonic Dances.