Nicola Swinburne, director
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Season 15: Season of Dreams
San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra's Season of Dreams
SAN FRANCISCO, California (April 13, 2013) – The San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra marks its 15th season, “Season of Dreams”, with a contemplative collection of sweet dreams, daydreams, and one – memorable – nightmare. Conducted again by its founder, Nicola Swinburne, with Concertmaster Tony Kaye, there are two performances:
San Francisco: Saturday May 18th, 7:30 pm, 2013, Mission Dolores, 3321 16th Street, San Francisco.
The centerpiece is a dream from long ago, the Baroque opera, the “Fairy Queen” by Purcell (1692). The opera is a musical accompaniment to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Many scenes are set “in the Palace wood, by moonlight,” populated by fairies, nymphs, dryads, and the personification of the seasons, night, mystery, and other such characters. The selections played by SFMO include songs sung by the idle fairies as they “wile away the hours” and nymphs asking “If Love’s a Sweet Passion, why does it Torment?” SFMO is pleased to be joined by Julie Jeffrey, one of Berkeley’s celebrated Viola da Gamba players and a leading light behind the Barefoot Chamber Concert series, and by Soprano, Christina Schiffner Santschi.
Debussy’s Rêverie (1890), although gentle, is haunting and wistful. The piece was originally for piano, although the arrangement with harp is also well known, and has been arranged for mandolins with guitar accompaniment. Fauré’s Berceuse from the Dolly Suite (1893-96) represents the wish of the caregiver that the baby’s dream be sweet and unspoiled.
Continuing in the tradition of previous seasons, the program includes an offering from the master composer, instrument innovator, and icon of the Neapolitan mandolin world, Rafaelle Calace (c. 1900). This piece is the aptly-named “Sogno” (dream).
As a reminder that drifting off into another world awakens spirits of a darker kind, San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra will be making a memorable performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ classic, Danse Macabre (1874). More commonly played at Halloween, Saint-Saens’ tone poem recounts the age-old theme that death unites us all, rich and poor. After the 12-bells of midnight, the dead come out to dance and make merry until the cock crows.
The San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra is a plucked string orchestra with 15-25 members, playing instruments of the mandolin family (mandolin, mandola and mandocello), as well as guitar, and double bass. The orchestra formed in May, 2005 and rehearses in San Francisco's Mission district on Sunday afternoons. It is a 501 (c) (3) organization. More information can be found at www.sfmandolin.org.
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