VIOLINS OF HOPE
Jake Heggie: INTONATIONS: Songs from the Violins of Hope
Texts by Gene Scheer (Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano; Benjamin Beilman, violin; Thais Chernyavsky, youth violin) (Orchestral WP | Festival Commission-orchestral version)
Christopher Rouse: Symphony No. 6 (WCP)
The Grand Finale of our 60th season begins with a powerful and profound Festival commission: the full orchestral version of Guggenheim Fellow Jake Heggie’s INTONATIONS: Songs from the Violins of Hope, with texts by Gene Scheer, and featuring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and violinist Benjamin Beilman as guest artists. Written in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, INTONATIONS is a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit. This powerful work is based on the stories told by musicologist and author James A. Grymes in his book Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust—Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour. The work is inspired by the Violins of Hope collection—instruments that were played by Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust and subsequently recovered and meticulously restored by Israeli violinmakers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein.
Concluding the evening is a posthumous tribute to a beloved friend to Cabrillo and Festival favorite, Pulitzer-prize winning composer Christopher Rouse. In his prolific and storied career, Rouse created a body of work perhaps unequaled in its emotional intensity. The New York Times called it “some of the most anguished, most memorable music around.” Tonight Măcelaru leads the Festival Orchestra in Rouse’s final work, Symphony No. 6. Notable for its dark, expressive sound world, Symphony No. 6 was Rouse’s only four-movement symphony. Rouse wrote of composing this work, “Now I hope to have lived a full enough life to have something to say that is worth perhaps a little of my listeners’ time. To live one’s life is, it sometimes seems, to spend all of one’s time on a rollercoaster as we try adapting to the sudden, unexpected changes of direction our ‘amusement park ride’ subjects us. (Sometimes those changes aren’t always very ‘amusing.’) Nonetheless, it is the very unpredictability of life that makes it so wonderful.”
The 2022 Cabrillo Festival season closes with a dessert reception for artists, orchestra, and our entire audience!
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