Zon Eastes, music director
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Juno Orchestra announces two concerts to welcome June. Entitled “Discoveries,” Juno Orchestra’s program presents four works likely to be new to most concertgoers. “I’m betting that even the two pieces composed over 200 years ago might be first-time experiences,” offered music director Zon Eastes.
Juno Orchestra, finishing its second season, is Vermont’s newest professional chamber orchestra and is in residence at the Brattleboro Music Center.
“From the outset, this Juno particular program promises a veritable feast of newness,” Eastes mused. “We are especially thrilled to introduce a commissioned work by composer Paul Dedell, titled ‘Serenity.’ Together, the orchestra and audiences will discover Dedell’s take on New England’s seasons.”
“I’ve been inspired by the life and words of Henry David Thoreau,” noted Dedell, as he spoke about the development of the new work. “I’ve been struck by the vitality of Thoreau’s language and impressions. It’s a special opportunity indeed to contemplate ways to highlight Juno’s special strengths.”
‘Serenity,’ subtitled ‘The Seasons of Henry David Thoreau,’ is a five-movement work for a chamber orchestra of oboes, French horns, bassoon, and strings. Short texts by Thoreau, illustrating the character of each movement, will be read at performances by Jennifer Karstad, local vocalist and member of the Brattleboro Concert Choir.
In addition to this newly composed piece, Juno will present a string symphony composed by the remarkable polymath William Herschel, the English astronomer who discovered the planet Uranus. Herschel, while perhaps not commonly known in U.S. concert halls, is widely recognized in the world of astronomy. A contemporary of Mozart, he composed more than 20 striking symphonies. Symphony No. 8 in D minor is particularly arresting in its “Sturm und Drang” (storm and stress) expressivity and coloration.
Juno continues along the path of discovery with a rarely heard work by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. ‘Impromptu,’ created in 1894 for string orchestra, melds two early piano pieces into a thoughtful ABA song form. “This gem strikes me as so completely at peace. I’m eager for our audiences to get a look into Sibelius’ love of nature,” said Eastes.
The fourth work on the program is Haydn’s 43rd Symphony in E-flat Major, “Mercury.” Certainly another example of Haydn’s commanding “Strum und Drang” period, this forty-third symphony offers warm-hearted and, in this case, splendidly non-uniform insights into Haydn’s perennial wit and compositional inventiveness. Audiences will discover Haydn’s perspective on various forms of procrastination, crackling speed, perfectly well-mannered over-repetition, and simple, unadorned loveliness. Though the “Mercury” nickname has no real connection to the piece (it was added much later, in the 19th century), the title offers a friendly nod to astronomer and composer William Herschel.
Concerts take place on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 2 at 4 p.m. at the Brattleboro Music Center, Brattleboro, Vermont. Tickets range in price from $10 to $40, and can be purchased by calling the BMC, 802.257.4523.
For more information, visit www.junoorchestra.org or call 802.380.9550.
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Saturday, June 1, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 2, 4 p.m.
Brattleboro Music Center, 72 Blanche Moyse Way, Brattleboro
Paul Dedell, Serenity
William Herschel, Symphony No. 8 in D minor
Jean Sibelius, Impromptu, Op. 5
Franz Joseph Haydn, Symphony No. 43 in E-flat Major, “Mercury”
$40, $20, $10. Available 802.257.4523 or online: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=bmcvt