The Cambridge Graduate Orchestra returns to West Road on 8 March for its hotly-anticipated Cambridge Science Festival event featuring a thrilling programme of music evoking the spirit world. The concert will be preceded by a talk from Professor Jim Woodhouse explaining the physics and difficulty of playing a stringed instrument (Please note this free event is ticketed separately).
The concert will open with the much-loved Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns, known to millions as the theme to the popular magician-detective show Jonathan Creek. This tone poem starts at the stroke of midnight on Hallowe'en. Death appears, represented by the solo violin playing the "Devil's interval": the augmented fourth, or tritone. Calling forth the dead from their graves, Death leads them in an infernal dance until dawn arrives, heralded by the cockerel's crow.
We are honoured to be joined for Wieniawski's Fantaisie Brillante sur Gounod's Faust and Beethoven's Romance No. 2 in F Major, op. 50, by Magdalena Filipczak (right), one of the most outstanding young Polish violinists of her generation. Magdalena holds the prestigious Artist Fellowship at the Guildhall and plays with the Artimus Ensemble, and the Devonia Concert Series which she co-founded. She has performed at the Barbican and Wigmore Halls, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and has been successful at numerous international and national violin competitions, including the 2011 Haverhill Soloist Competition and the 2009 Ivan Sutton Prize of the City Music Society. To whet your appetite, see below for a video of Magdalena performing the Britten Violin Concerto.
The second half of the concert will close with Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz. Subtitled An Episode in the Life of an Artist, it tells the story of "an artist gifted with a lively imagination" who is suffering from a "hopeless love". The first movement, Reveries -- Passions, is an introspection of the artist, and transitions from a state of dreamy melancholy to delirious passion, while the second movement depicts a glamorous ball the artist is attending. The third movement, a scene in the fields, is a pastoral duet between two shepherds the artist overhears. The fourth movement, March to the Scaffold, depicts the tragedy of unrequited love and tells of the artist's opium-fuelled dreams as he tries to poison himself, and the fifth and final movement represents a witches' sabbath.
Conducted by William Salaman, a former professional horn player and a music educator (pictured left), this captivating and exhilarating programme is a treat for all the family!