Members of the Harrogate Symphony Orchestra are working hard towards their spring concert at the Royal Hall on on Saturday March 16.
While the first half will feature crowd-pleasing classics, in the form of Suppé’s Poet and Peasant overture and Beethoven’s magnificent Emperor piano concerto - played by rising star Harry Fox - the second will offer the Harrogate audience a rare and tuneful treat in the form of Charles Ives’ Symphony No.2.
Born in 1874, Ives was a great collector of American folk music, to the extent that he has been dubbed “the American Vaughan-Williams”.
This symphony, written at the turn of the century ingeniously weaves classic American themes such as Camptown Races, Long, Long Ago, Turkey in the Straw and America the Beautiful around cheeky quotations from European classical music, from Beethoven and Dvorak, to Tchaikovsky and Wagner.
The result is a highly melodic offering that holds the interest from beginning to climactic end and sends the listener away humming the tunes.
Ives was not always favoured by the American musical establishment, who regarded him as too unconventional, but this symphony was “rescued” by none other than Leonard Bernstein, who recognised its genius and entertainment value and finally gave it its premiere in 1951.
For all those keen to hear why Bernstein was so keen on this work, tickets are on sale now priced at £14, £13 and £12 for adults, students half price with 14s and under free when accompanied by an adult.
Tickets can be bought via the Harrogate Theatres box office tel. 01423 502116 and the new HSO website www.harrogateorchestra.org.uk