SASO November Concert to feature guest conductor

Punch Howarth

Mr. Pezone will guest conduct the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra on November 8 at SaddleBrooke. He hails from Latina, Italy, where he studied piano and organ. In Rome he was a student of liturgical music and conducting. In Italy he has conducted the Corelli Chamber Orchestra, the orchestras of Teatre San Severo and Giavani d’Abruzzo, the operas La Traviata and Madama Butterfly and he founded the Fondi Chamber Orchestra. Signore Pezone has also been active conducting and performing liturgical and choral music. He has conducted orchestras in Bulgaria, Poland, Turkey and several in Mexico.

Rossini’s Overture to the opera The Italian in Algiers opens the concert followed by the Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra by Panufnik and Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 in B flat major. Rossini is known, like Beethoven and Berlioz, for numerous well known overtures and his Overture to the Italian Girl in Algiers is one of his best. It opens with a quiet, slow introduction upon pizzicato basses in three time followed by an explosion of the full orchestra called a tutti. This is followed by a fast comic march in a pompous style. There are several quiet contrasting sections before a big stirring finale.

Andrezej Panufnik, 1914 to 1991, was a Twentieth Century Polish composer with an extensive catalogue of large instrumental works, concertos, ballets and vocal and chamber scores. Following his escape from Communist Poland, he became fully integrated into the British Musical Community. The great British violinist Yehudi Menuhin commissioned Panufnik to write a violin concerto in 1971 and Menuhin performed the premier in 1972. In order to emphasize the solo violin he only scored it with string orchestra. Panufnik stated in 1979, “I treated the violin as a singing instrument and I think this is a valid approach; therefore, even though I kept my self-imposed discipline of sound organization, I chiefly constructed long and uninterrupted melodic lines—to strongly expose the solo part—I chose only string instruments (as accompaniment.)”

The concerto is in the normal three movements: Part I is a Rubato on a three note theme and has several cantalinas (mini cadenzas) included. Part II is a slow Adagio based on minor and major thirds. Part III Vivace is a fast development of the adagio themes with changing rhythms. In the middle there is a long theme on the G string where the soloist is quite expressive. Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 will conclude the concert and will be discussed later.

This concert will be performed at DesertView Performing Arts Auditorium on Saturday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m. and on November 9 in Oro Valley at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at 3:00 p.m.

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