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Appalachian Repertory Orchestra performs Feb. 24

BOONE—The Appalachian Repertory Orchestra performs works by Telemann, Bach, Sibelius and Holst Feb. 24 at Appalachian State University. The program begins at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free.

The program opens with the overture from “Don Quixote Suite” by Telemann. Inspired by Cervantes’ 15th century masterpiece, Telemann’s suite is based on his Don Quixote opera written in the mid-1700s.

Next on the program is Bach’s “Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068.” The orchestra will play four of the suite’s movements beginning with the well-known “Air on the G string.” While the violin’s G string is known for its rich character, it was the least-favored of the violin’s strings by Baroque composers. In his air, Bach showcases the string’s warm, mellow tones. Young musicians in the audience will also recognize staples of the Suzuki repertoire contained in the suite – “Gavottes I and II” and “Bourrée.”

Jean Sibelius’ hymn-like “Andante Festivo. written in 1922 for string quartet, was inspired by the composer’s love of nature. It is marked by rich chords and a quite solemnity. It was first performed at the 1939 World Exhibition in New York. When it was recorded later in Helsinki, Sibelius told the musicians to “play with more humanity.” The simple melody was called an emotional balm to a world soon to be torn by war. It is most often performed today for solemn state occasions in Sibelius’ native Finland. It also was performed at Sibelius’ funeral.

The concert concludes with “Brook Green Suite” by Gustav Holst. In the early 1900s, Holst was named music director at St Paul’s Girls’ School in London. Known for “The Planets” and “St. Paul’s Suite,” among other compositions, Holst wrote “Brook Green Suite” while he was in a hospital. It was one of the last compositions he wrote for his pupils.

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