Another season of gems in store for CPO
Our guide to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s hottest tickets
Calgary is blessed with a yearly abundance of classical music performances throughout, with one of the highlights being the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s season.
This year, the CPO has put together a fantastic repertoire of orchestral music ranging from the music of J.S. Bach to the Beach Boys, providing something for every music lover.
At first glance, the big pieces on the program are Gustav Holst’s The Planets, Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and countless works by classic composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms.
The CPO offers a large range of orchestral repertoire, which can be a bit overwhelming when trying to find a concert to go to. Luckily, the season is divided into several different series that comprise approximately five concerts that offer similar music.
The Classics series offers concerts with works such as Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, Beethoven’s Symphony No.2 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7. Large scale works such as concertos, symphonies and opera overtures are part of this series and many world-class soloists are brought in to perform.
The Serenade series also brings in soloists to perform concertos and select features. Music that is more romantic is featured such as Ravel’s Tzigane, Schubert’s Ave Maria, as well as a presentation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which is easily one of the most recognizable pieces of music.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more of an exotic flavour, the Destination series takes the listener around the globe, featuring music mainly by British composers but also including the Hong Kong Sinfonietta as guest orchestra for the first time in Calgary.
If the classics of Beethoven and Mozart aren’t your style, the CPO offers a Pops! series that showcases the music of classic rock legends, Broadway hits, the greatest singers of the 70s as well as an entire concert dedicated to Nat King Cole.
The New York Voices will be making an appearance in Calgary during this series, a treat for vocal jazz enthusiasts.
The CPO isn’t just a place for older, classical music lovers. They also offer a Symphony Sundays for Kids! series. This is a package of performed classical music with dramatic twists to keep young listeners entertained. This year is marked by Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, as well as a special performance of Beethoven Lives Upstairs.
A traditional series is back again this year with Bach@Knox. Yes, you read that right, concerts entirely comprised of work by Bach performed in the wonderful space of the Knox United Church.
This series features many of Bach’s cantatas, fugues as well as an orchestral transcription of The Goldburg Variations. This has been one of the highlights over the last couple years, as the Knox church offers wonderful acoustics.
A very special festival that the CPO is bringing this year is War and Peace, which features works that were created to make a statement — to celebrate, reflect or distract in the times of great turmoil.
Both the films Alexander Nevsky, with music by Prokofiev, as well as Passchendaele will be presented with the orchestra providing the cinematic score. This series will also premier a piece written to commemorate Canadian soldiers called Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation.
If you don’t have time to attend a full-fledged concert, the CPO offers the Rush Hour series. On Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. you can leave the office and attend a short concert featuring the highlights of the Friday night concert.
Lastly, just in case you haven’t heard, the CPO is doing a little project in May. For those of you who are familiar with the Lord of the Rings trilogy (a side project from director Peter Jackson who is known more for his other works like Meet the Feebles and Forgotten Silver), the music from those films is coming to town.
The CPO doesn’t expect this to be a big sell, so they’ve added the bonus of actually streaming the films along with the music to help bring in more attendees.
If you find yourself bored in May, this may be something you’ll want to consider to pass the time. Don’t worry about looking into tickets now, this will probably not sell out and tickets will probably be available at the door. Probably.
Unfortunately, this article cannot cover the entire musical season. For more information about particular concerts, series and prices check out their website at www.cpo-live.com