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Central Otago Regional Orchestra - Country Airs – Vintage Verse Takes Musical Flight

Dates: Sat, 11 November 2023 - Sun, 12 November 2023 @ 11th November, 7.30pm. 12th November, 11am.

  • Central Otago Regional Orchestra - Country Airs – Vintage Verse Takes Musical Flight

Fly into the musical heights with our solo violinist, Cathy Irons, in two very special classics, The Lark Ascending, by Vaughan Williams and the fourth movement of The Scottish Fantasy, by Bruch.

These works could not be more contrasting from the gentle pastorale themes of The Lark Ascending to the start and finish of the Scottish Fantasy (Fourth Movement) with an allegro guerrico, a war- like dance. Contrast is part of both works with a short period of country dance, almost parenthetic, in the middle of The Lark and quieter, more reflective moments during the Scottish Fantasy.

These works are supported by another Scottish themed work by Hamish MacCunn, The Mountain and the Flood. This is a favourite of our violin principal, Sheena Naughton, and therefore we could not fail to give it airtime in this concert of themes from the British countryside.

Cathy is a well-known violinist throughout New Zealand and abroad. She plays an extensive range of music from baroque and classical to contemporary and jazz. She also plays with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra as first violinist including acting concertmaster at times.

 Roaring Meg, a Celtic ensemble from Wanaka, led by Allen Hogan, will lighten and amuse the ear with some Scottish and Irish themed dances. They are sure to get your toes tapping with the impulse of their rhythms!

Allen, accompanied by piano and orchestra, takes up his flute in Danny Boy (Londonderry Air). The orchestral arrangement has been written by CORO’s musical director, Ashley Hopkins and makes for easy listening on the ear.

Where does the theme of verse come from in our concert subtitle? This relates to the poetry embedded in the works presented in the programme. Take for example, The Lark Ascending. This was based on a 122-line poem by George Meredith, written around 1851, describing the free flight of a lark over an English countryside that was becoming increasingly mechanised. Vaughan Williams makes his music the flight of the lark. The poetry of Robert Burns features in the fourth movement of the Scottish Fantasy where the warlike dance is based on the traditional tune, ”Hey Tuttie Tatie” which Burns used for his patriotic poem “Scots, wha hae” purported to be the words of Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn. (How appropriate we play on Sunday close to Bannockburn, Central Otago!) The traditional “Auld Robb Morris” introduced during the Second Movement is reprised just before the end of the Fourth Movement we are playing for you.

Saturday 11 November, 7.30pm at the Lake Wanaka Centre, Wanaka.

Sunday 12th November, 11am at the Goldfields Primary School, Cromwell.

Tickets $25, children free. 

Tickets are available from Paper Plus Cromwell, Gifted in Wanaka or online by visiting Door sales will be available.