Cape Symphony Kicks Off 2019-20 Concert Season with Nod to Nature

“Beethoven on the Cape” features world premiere tribute to Cape Cod and Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony
(Courtesy of Cape Symphony)

For the season opener, Beethoven on the Cape will have audiences soaring with an aerial view of the gorgeous local landscape, and then diving deep into the vast ocean for a colorful aquatic immersion, all starring the talented musicians of the Cape Symphony.

“Soaring Over the Sound” is an original multimedia experience featuring aerial cinematography by Thomas Chartrand of Shoreline Media, located in Hyannis. The gorgeous imagery is paired with the world premiere music, written by Matthew Correia. Correia’s commission was sponsored by the nonprofit Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT). The mission of the HCT is to preserve land that protects woods, water, wildlife and the shared quality of life.

“This is the ultimate partnership between musicians, composer, videographer, and conservationists,” said Artistic Director & Conductor Jung-Ho Pak. “’Soaring Over the Sound’ is an amazing tribute to the natural beauty of Cape Cod using images gathered by a local videographer that loves and connects with this amazing place as much as we do. The combination of evocative new music paired with this gorgeous video will create an experience unlike anything audiences have ever experienced before.”

Moving from vast landscapes to deep oceans, the Cape Symphony will perform another inspiring piece called “Oceana,” written by international award-winning composer Stella Sung.  She served as the first Composer-In-Residence for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and has had her compositions performed by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Cincinnati Pops.

“I have compiled a soundtrack comprised of recordings of marine life animal sounds that runs throughout the piece,” Sung wrote of “Oceana” in June 2019. The work is divided into three basic sections: the beauty, majesty and mystery of the seas and the life forms that live there, the man-made disturbances of that ecosystem, and the hope that humans can find a balance of living alongside the oceans.

Inspired by a New England Aquarium lecture, Sung paired with marine underwater film-maker, photographer and scuba diver Annie Crawley to bring the ocean to life through music. Crawley was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2010 and has lived and worked in dozens of exotic places including Indonesia, Galapagos, Belize, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Her amazing aquatic adventures are the perfect accompaniment to the thrilling “Oceana.”

Of course, a concert dubbed Beethoven on the Cape needs to include Beethoven! So what better piece than Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony,” which showcases how important nature was to the composer as he quotes nature directly with bird calls, a babbling brook, and a raging storm.

“This is a very unusual piece for Beethoven, and one that mirrors the more modern take on nature we are presenting with ‘Soaring Over the Sound,” said Pak. “It’s yet another piece that will transport the audience into the beauty and power of our natural environment.”

Rounding out the Beethoven on the Cape program is “Secret of Wind and Birds” by Chinese composer Tan Dun. Dun won the Oscar for the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon score. “Secret of Wind and Birds” was commissioned by Carnegie Hall specifically for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States. The music draws on forms and methods from East and West, ancient and modern, and incorporates birdsong produced by smart phones.

The Cape Symphony is proud to present Beethoven on the Cape on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 22 at 3:00 p.m. at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, 744 West Main Street, Hyannis.  For more information or to purchase tickets visit capesymphony.org or call the Box Office at 508-362-1111.


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