Sunday, October 25th, 2015
“All Things English”
The Roseville String Ensemble’s 2015 Fall concert features a wide variety of music spanning three centuries.
The concert opens with Scarlatti/Avison’s Concerto Grosso No. 2, a collection of Scarlatti keyboard sonatas English composer Charles Avison arranged into a string orchestra concerto featuring violin and cello soloists. The piece is one of 12 such concerti grossi Avison arranged for strings.
The second work on the program is entitled “Trauermusik” (Music of Mourning), written by Paul Hindemith for viola and string orchestra. It was written in London in 1936 as a tribute to King George V, who died shortly after Hindemith arrived in London to perform a concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Rather than playing the concert, the BBC asked Hindemith to compose a new piece (which he did in about 6 hours), and it was performed that evening, with Hindemith himself as soloist!
The next piece on the concert is Gustav Holst’s lively St. Paul’s Suite, written for the opening of a new music wing at the St. Paul’s School for Girls in Birmingham, England, where Holst served as music director for almost 30 years. This new wing included a soundproof teaching room built for him, and he ended up writing most of his music there.
The concert closes with the pleasing main theme of the well-liked BBC show Downton Abbey (set in Yorkshire, England), written for the show by Scottish composer James Lunn.
Chris Chelgren is a freelance musician and has been teaching violin, viola, and piano lessons since 1999. He studied viola in Minneapolis with Stella Anderson, and later with Charles Gray at St. Olaf College, where he graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor’s of Music in Theory and Composition. He is active in music around the Twin Cities and plays with several different orchestras including the St. Andrew’s Orchestra, the Mississippi Valley Orchestra, and the pit orchestra for the Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company. He is the assistant conductor for the Roseville String Ensemble during the 2015-2016 season, for which he serves on the board of directors and has been principal violist since 2011. He also coordinates a summer chamber music program for the Roseville String Ensemble and currently plays in the Amber String Quartet.