Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Benjamin Northey conductor
Copland Appalachian Spring
Miriam Hyde Village Fair
Dvořák Slavonic Dances (selection)
About this performance
Folk songs have long served as inspiration to composers from across the globe, whether they are weaved into symphonies, sprinkled into art song and folded into opera. This program explores how folk music has influenced and infiltrated classical music.
- Composed in 1943, Village Fair by Miriam Hyde was written while she was also producing her significant Sonata in G minor for piano. In stark contrast to the sonata’s reflection of war time, Village Fair is a ballet for orchestra that beautifully reflects just what its title suggests: a colourful and lively festival.
- With the extraordinary Martha Graham Dance Company in mind, Aaron Copland wrote his Appalachian Spring very much to be danced to. It fulfills the commission to be about “the pioneer American spirit, with youth and spring, with optimism and hope.”
- Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances, originally written for four hand piano and taking inspiration from Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, rocketed the composer to unexpected fame. His forward-thinking publisher suggested Dvorak write something incorporating folk songs from the composer’s childhood in early 1878. The tip paid off, and his Dances were orchestrated soon after their wildly popular premiere.