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DUPO Symphony

01/12/2017 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

£3 – £5

The programme for DUPO Symphony’s first concert of the year is tied together by its French Theme. There is an ideal combination of the unrecognised and more mainstream; the boisterous and the stirring; the show pieces and the more serious works.

Scenes pittoresques, written in 1874, is the fourth of Jules Massenet’s seven orchestral suites. Split into four contrasting but greatly tuneful movements, the piece follows less of a direct theme than Massenet’s other orchestral suites, and is more a depiction of four different characters: ‘Marche’, ‘Air de Ballet’, ‘Angelus’ and a grand finale entitled ‘Fete boheme’. Though one of the more popular of Massenet’s orchestral suites, it remained relatively under-performed outside of France. Regardless, it is a fine example of the composer’s talent for musical writing outside of his many operas.

Despite the success it brought to Francis Poulenc after it was premiered in 1924, Les Biches is one of the more underrated works in the French repertoire. We will be performing the orchestral suite, the movements of which are taken from the original ballet. The story is based around a hose part in the sough of France in the 1920s. Biche, the French for a doe, is a slang term for a provocative woman, and there is an ambiguous, implied sexual element to the proceedings. The music is filled with beautiful melodies and harmonies, and its light nature makes it extremely easy to listen to.

Maurice Ravels ‘Ma Mere L’Oye’ will open our second half. First written in 1910 as five piano duets for children, Ravel turned the five pieces into an orchestral suite in 1911, before adding another two movements and four new interludes. This is by far the most famous of the works we will be playing, and with good reason. The sweet, impressionist harmonies and unforgettable melodies make it a very easy listen.

Taken from Emmanuel Chabrier’s 1887 opera-comique, Fete Polonaise is an orchestral excerpt with which we will finish our concert. Ravel was a great admirer of the whole opera, claiming that the premiere changed the course of French harmony. The excerpt also bears some similarities to La Valse, and will be a perfect showpiece to finish what will be an enthralling concert.

Important Event Information

Doors Open: 7:00 pm
Ticket Prices:  Adult £10, Concession £7, Student £7
Music Durham Member Tickets: Log in for Music Durham discount ticket £6
Ticket Availability:   Tickets will be available online from 12th November
Ticket Delivery:  eTicket (print at home or display on mobile)
Accessibility: Please get in touch to confirm arrangements


7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
£3 – £5
Event Categories:


Elvet Methodist Church
8 Old Elvet
Durham, DH1 3HL


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