Village Scenes

Hope Metropolitan Orchestra: Village Scenes

Saturday, 28 October 2023 Time: 7.30pm
NB: This concert takes place in the Great Hall at Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus.
Leo Byrne, Violin
Hope Metropolitan Orchestra, Stephen Pratt, Conductor
Cathedral Cantata Choir, Richard Lea, Director
Hope Voices, Rebekah Okpoti, Director


Bartók - Rumanian Dances
Kodaly - Unaccompanied songs
Bartók - Selections from Duos for Two violins
Smetana - Cradle Song
Stephen Pratt - More Imaginary Folksongs (World Premiere)
Bartók - 4 Slovak Folksongs
Dvorák - Czech Suite
Imagine a village surrounded by deep countryside. At the centre is a church. Beyond are a couple of unmade roads, a tavern and a scattering of houses. Most people rise early to work on the land.

These are the pictures described in music by the Czech composer Dvor?k and the Hungarians, Bartók and Kodály. There is a strong folk element, particularly of the lively dances which were such an important part of the workers’ leisure time. Vocal pieces follow traditional melodies whose origins date back centuries. Dvor?k takes a benign view of village life. Bartók and Kodály are much more realistic. While acknowledging the strengths of country customs, they point also to back-breaking work done in all weathers.

Many villages had a fiddle player and this concert highlights pieces for the violin, notably in the world premiere of More Imaginary Folksongs by Stephen Pratt, written for the orchestra’s leader, Leo Byrne.

This music illustrates the diversity of these old rural communities. Step back in time to a fast-vanishing world.

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