Arts & Entertainment

Pasadena Community Orchestra Hosts First Concert of the Year

PCO musicians donate their time and talent to provide free concerts in Pasadena. – Courtesy photo / Facebook, @pasadenacommunityorchestra

The Pasadena Community Orchestra (PCO) will perform Mozart’s, Symphony No. 40, J.S. Bach’s G Minor Fugue, Walton’s Spitfire Prelude & Fugue and Liszt’s Les Preludes under the baton of Music Director Beth Pflueger on Jan. 25.

Mozart’s iconic Symphony No. 40 is scored in four movements.  Written in 1788, its passionate tone makes it an emotionally intense work. It opens with a steady pulse in the violas and then moves into a melody in the violins. The second movement is a slower. The third movement is a powerful minuet that becomes more complex and contrapuntal as it progresses. The concluding allegro assai resolves the piece with a clever series of developments based on the opening theme and returning to the opening G minor key.

J.S. Bach is the most famous for writing fugues during the baroque era; however, he rarely wrote for orchestras. As a result, lavish transcriptions were created, such as the G Minor / Little Fugue which is also in the key of G minor. Originally written for a baroque pipe organ between 1703 and 1707, it is one of Bach’s best-known fugues. Each section of the orchestra takes a voice in the fugue, which results in a beautiful rendition of highly-ordered imitative counterpoint that leaves nothing out.

Composed during WWII, Walton’s Spitfire Prelude & Fugue was written for a 1942 film called “The First of the Few” which deals with subjects related to the conflict. Walton’s Fugue contains a patriotic march that joins with a fugue in order to the mark the completion of a fighter aircraft. Overall, the piece is extremely patriotic.

Liszt’s Les Preludes, written in 1856, is a symphonic poem written to illustrate the ancient Greek concept of the four elements – earth, air, water and fire. It was written for a large orchestra with harp and consists of five different sections.

The concert will take place in the sanctuary of First Church of the Nazarene, 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena (just west of Michillinda Avenue) on Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. The venue offers ample free parking and is wheelchair accessible. There is no cost to attend any PCO concert but donations are always welcome. For more information, call (626) 445-6708, email publicity@pcomusic.org, or visit pcomusic.org.

January 10, 2019

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