Marking the centenary of the armistice that ended World War I, this concert explores the experience of “the war to end all wars” through the ears of the composers who lived it: Maurice Ravel’s, Concerto for the Left Hand (with soloist Dana Brown) and La Valse, a Paul Hindemith string quartet, Gustav Holst’s little-known Ode to Death and a Hubert Parry motet. Music director William White opens the program with Lili Boulanger’s cortège-like Pour les funérailles d’un soldat (“For the funeral of a soldier”), a startlingly prescient vision composed in the lead-up to the Great War.
We’ve titled this season “Introductions”: a chance for Maestro White to introduce himself to you, our OSSCS patrons and fans, and a chance for him to introduce you to many of his favorite works, with a focus on the music of Lili Boulanger, who was born 125 years ago in 1893 and died 100 years ago in 1918.
Boulanger’s death at the age of 24 and her subsequent neglect belie her significance as a composer of masterpieces for chorus and orchestra. Over the course of our season, we will pair five of her works with music by other composers who influenced her, were influenced by her, or who wrote upon similar themes as those explored in her music.
There will be plenty of the great canonic masterworks that OSSCS is known for — music of Bach, Haydn, Handel and Brahms — as well as major works by Aaron Copland, Maurice Ravel and Antonín Dvořák that will receive their first OSSCS performances.