A Cracker of a Dance

2017 - ending with a polka   

  St James Church, Lower Hutt.  Saturday, 19 Nov.

  Conductor Mark Carter

The last concert of the year had a Dance theme, and audience members were free to dance up and down the aisles, but none did.  It's being the first that is the problem.  Ah well. Dance music is still lovely to listen to, and there was a good mixture.

It was notable if you were a player and looking at the nearer rows, that there were a goodly number of youngsters. Parents (and grans, etc) should note that secondary students and younger get in free. Oddly enough, looking from the back, it was an adult audience. 

The audience watcing the concert

But if you look carefully, children are there nearer the orchestra, having
grabbed a good view right up front.

Mark Carter The concert began with a suite of music derived by Tchaikovsky from his ballet, the Nutcracker Suite.

Indeed this was much more popular to begin with than the actual ballet. This really took off in the 1960's and now is a major part of Christmas for ballet companies in the United States. All this and more was mentioned by conductor Mark Carter in his intro. 
This was followed by Anitra's Dance (Grieg), which is primarily a string piece, but does feature delicate work on the triangle.

This was followed by Khachaturian's exhilarating Sabre Dance...
Mark Carter

After the interval was Shostakovich. His "Tea for Two" is arranged from Youmans "No, No, Nanette".

This was followed by Aaron Copland's variations on a Shaker melody.  This is generally known as "Lord of the Dance" which is what it became when made into a hymn in 1963. Copland wrote his "Appalachian Spring" earlier, in 1944, so he can be credited with making the tune better known.

Finally the concert ended with two sparkling works by Johann Strauss. The Blue Danube and then the Thunder and Lightning Polka.