Surprises Expected at Maui Chamber Orchestra & Chorus Season Finale Concert
The Maui Chamber Orchestra and Chorus will end their 2016-17 season with a grand finale concert at the Castle Theater of Maui Arts & Cultural Center at 3 p.m. on Aug. 13.
The concert, “French Impressions” will feature the works of the great impressionist composers Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy along with works by the late 19th century romantic composer Gabriel Faure. The program will present some of their most well-known works in unusual performances. In one act, they will perform Faure’s Pavane for a “Dead Princess,” but they will do the seldom-heard choral version of the work.
For the fourth movement of Ma Mere l’Oye (Mother Goose) Suite, based on the tale of “Beauty and the Beast,” Maestro Wills will bring in a contra bassoon to represent the beast. The instrument is so big it has to have its own seat on the plane.
The “Pie Jesu” of Faure’s Requiem will be sung by King Kekaulike High School student Puakenikeni Kepler, whose grandfather, Dr. William Kepler is a tenor in the MCO Chorus. Will Kimball, who played the title character in Maui Academy of Performing Arts’ production of “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” last year and who will be playing the Archdeacon Frollo in their production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” at the end of August, will sing the baritone solo Libera Me and the Hostias section of the Offertory movement.
Maestro Wills said, “I can’t tell you what it is, you’ll have to get tickets to find out, but the Faure “Requiem” will have a major surprise.”
The concert will open with Debussy’s Sarabande, from his Suite for Solo Piano, which was later orchestrated by Ravel in 1918.
The orchestra will then perform Faure’s Pelleas et Melisande Suite. The suite was composed by Faure in less than two months and was undertaken as a commission for the first English language performance of Maurice Maeterlink’s play by the English actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell about the music she wrote in her memoir My Life and Some Letters, “he had grasped with most tender inspiration the poetic purity that pervades and envelops M. Maeterlinck’s lovely play.”
The final work in the first part of the concert will be Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) Suite. The orchestra will be performing the suite, not the ballet. The work consists of five movements Pavane of “Sleeping Beauty,” “Tom Thumb,” “Empress of the Pagoda,” “Beauty and the Beast” and the “Fairy’s Garden.” True to the impressionist tone poem style of the work, it is dominated by woodwinds and strings, very little brass.
After intermission the orchestra will be joined by the chorus for the final two numbers in the show.
Maestro Wills will host Conversations with the Conductor on the day of the concert at 1:30 p.m.