Young Ambassador Review: Highland Youth Orchestra

Inverness Young Ambassador, Elizabeth Barke, describes the Highland Youth Orchestra concert, Sat 23rd Nov at Macdonalds Highlands Hotel

Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite op. 71a
Miniature Overture
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Arabian Dance
Russian Dance (Trepak)
In this session with the orchestra it was a great honour to work with Gary Walker as conductor. As well as conducting many prestigious orchestras throughout the world he was the principle guest conductor of the RSNO 2003 - 2007
The Nutcracker composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of my favourite pieces of classical music especially around Christmas time, as the story follows a young girls dreams on Christmas Eve about a nutcracker doll she has been given. The Nutcracker Ballet was first performed at the famous Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Russia.
The lively start of the Miniature Overture from the Nutcracker really captured the audience as we painted the picture of an exciting Christmas Eve. Proceeding into the March left the audience wanting more as they were left with the abrupt ending. The delicate pizzicato led into the magical tune on the celesta of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. I feel that the orchestra really created the image of the elegant ballerina performing that famous dance. Next the quiet Arabian Dance prior to finishing with the fast and exciting Trepak. The Trepak is my personal favourite movement in The Nutcracker, I particularly love the accelerando as the orchestra crashes into a dramatic ending.
Elgar: The Wand of Youth Suite no.1
Minuet (old style)
Sun Dance
Fairy Pipers
Slumber Scene
Fairies and Giants
The Wand of Youth Suite no.1 was first performed in London during 1907. Edward Elgar based the music on a family play he wrote at the age of 12. The seven contrasting movements are rarely performed in concert. I really enjoyed the fourth movement, Sun Dance. This lively dance is dominated by the woodwind section. I love the feeling of the violins fighting for the main tune however the woodwind section refuse to let them take over. After a brief dark passage the orchestra unites and scurries into a rousing close.
The highlight of the concert for me was the encore of the Trepak from the Nutcracker.
I am very excited to be a young ambassador for the RSNO. Our aim is to engage young people in classical music and I hope that blogging will become a vital part of this.
Elizabeth Barke
Elizabeth is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
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