The Florida Orchestra musicians will play more than 130 concerts in the 2018/19 season, but which ones are they looking forward to the most? As the season gets ready to launch at the end of September, we asked musicians for their concert picks. Here are five from flute/piccolo Sandra del Cid-Davies. Click on each title for more information on the concert.
As an artist, I gravitate toward music that points to deeper truths often obscured by the routine of daily life. My favorite concerts this season feature music that does exactly that. These are concerts that my husband, Dan, and I carve out on the calendar and go the extra mile with logistical planning (child care!) to ensure that he can experience the magic of this music, too. It is my genuine hope that everyone from our wonderful Tampa Bay community gets to experience these life-changing concerts as well – and then some!
I will go on record that Dmitri Shostakovich is my musical hero! There is just something about Shostakovich’s music that speaks to the deepest parts of the soul. With his Fifth Symphony, I truly believe that if someone walked into a concert hall and listened to the entire piece without knowing anything about Shostakovich or the extraordinary story behind this masterpiece, they would understand everything from the music alone. That Michael Francis chose to feature this symphony on the final Masterworks concert of the season says it all. Do not miss.
Holst’s The Planets/Debussy Nocturnes
Two of my favorite pieces happen to be on the same concert! Debussy’s Nocturnes are just breathtaking. I always feel like I’m floating when listening to the music, but this will be my first time performing it, so I am thrilled. It’s fairly common to perform a movement or two from Holst’s The Planets, since each movement (planet) is a masterpiece in its own right. However, performing the whole suite from beginning to end is a phenomenal emotional journey that I don’t ever get tired of.
Vaughan Williams’ A London Symphony
I absolutely love Vaughan Williams, and yet somehow I have never become acquainted with his symphonies. This concert is going to be an incredible opportunity to experience Vaughan Williams in a way that I never have before. Whenever I perform music I am totally unfamiliar with, it feels like I am on a voyage discovering a new world. I would encourage anyone that is on the fence about attending a concert with unfamiliar music to take the leap of faith and go!
Our first concert of the season features no less than Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The Beethoven will triumph and the Rachmaninoff will sweep audiences off their feet. It’s Respighi’s Pines of Rome, however, that is my personal favorite on the program. Each movement is so programmatic and descriptive that if I close my eyes, I can imagine myself in Rome through the ages witnessing everything that Respighi brings to light. The final movement has such an extraordinary climax that I get goosebumps every time I perform this piece. Our opening concert is going to be truly spectacular!
Mahler’s Symphony No. 1
Mahler is another composer whose compositions automatically go to the top of the list. I love things that are epic, and nothing gets more epic than Mahler. Mahler fearlessly shows just how extreme a symphonic concert can be — especially with a good brass section! I believe our brass section is second to none (as well as all the other sections in our fine orchestra), so I cannot WAIT to perform this concert.
Want to attend them all? Consider a Compose Your Own series here.
For more musicians’ concert picks, click here.