Dark and Light

Hannah Schendel, Music Director
April 12, 2024

Please join the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra for “Dark and Light,” our final concert of the 2023-24 season!

One of the first concepts a painter, photographer, or sculptor must learn is how to use light, and the absence of light, to create their desired artwork. Similarly, composers learn how to create the illusion of such images using sound as their medium. Each piece on our program explores the contrasts between light and dark.

In 1903, Carl Nielsen’s wife Anne Marie, a sculptor, received a grant to study ancient Greek art in Athens. While Anne Marie spent much of her time in the Acropolis, Carl studied archaeology and composed. Inspired by the intensity of the scorching Athens sun, Helios Overture paints the image of the sun rising and falling in an arc over the Aegean Sea, emerging from and sinking back into darkness.

Tone Poem, by Chen Yi, was inspired by two poems by Sy Dong-po about southern Chinese landscape paintings. Through this sonic landscape, Chen, conveys images of sunlight, dark rain clouds, sparkling waves, and a sudden and forceful gale.

Sibelius in 1904, by Albert Engström

Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 is sometimes subtitled as “Confession of the Soul.” As we are carried through the symphony we see flickers of contrasting images, each serving to illuminate one another. Images of a frozen Finnish tundra contrast with warm country sides, encounters with Death oppose moments of intense hope, frenetic energy is juxtaposed with plaintive and tender melody. The final movement harnesses these opposing forces and unites their energy in one of the most glorious symphonic melodies.

As I reflect back on my first season as Music Director, I am inspired by the joy, commitment, and camaraderie shared by the WSO musicians. As we look to the future, we look forward to exciting concerts, new collaborations, and opportunities to expand our impact within the Twin Cities community.

I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our donors, volunteers, and audience members. Your impact is vital for the success and mission of this organization. Thank you!

We cannot wait to see you next season!

French Romanticism

Hannah Schendel, Music Director
November 4, 2023

I’m excited for the WSO concert on Sunday, November 12, 2023. Please join us at 3:00 pm at Wayzata Central Middle School for our second performance of this concert season.

The three pieces on this program were all composed in France during the Third Republic, a 70-year period that arose after France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. During this period, two differing styles of French music coexisted, French Romanticism and Impressionism.

Our concert opens with Callirhoë Suite, a charming ballet suite composed by Cécile Chaminade, an accomplished pianist and composer who performed concerts throughout Europe and in the United States. As musical taste in France shifted toward Impressionism during the late 1800s, a style that Chaminade disliked, Chaminade dug her heels into the heavier French Romantic style, aligning herself with composers such as Camille Saint-Saëns and Léo Delibes.

The music is delightfully varied, pictorial, and features many short solos by various instruments.

This is followed by Édouard Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D Minor, a defining work in Lalo’s long compositional career. We are delighted to welcome Anthony Ross (Principal Cello – Minnesota Orchestra) to join the WSO again as our featured soloist. Throughout the concerto, the solo cello plays the part of a powerful and emotional protagonist while the orchestra plays a supporting role, occasionally interjecting with motives that include a hint of Spanish flair.

Finally, we will hear another ingenious and delightful French ballet suite entitled, Sylvia Suite, by Léo Delibes. Tchaikovsky was so impressed with the music of Sylvia that he wrote to a friend, “I was ashamed. If I had known this music early on, then of course I would not have written Swan Lake…what charm, what elegance.”

We are looking forward to seeing you there! Free – donations gratefully accepted at the door. No ticket required. Join us after the concert for a reception to meet the musicians.

2023-2024 Season

Music Director, Hannah Schendel
August 30, 2023

I am so excited and honored to be named the new Music Director of the Wayzata Symphony. Through weathering the pandemic and embarking on a yearlong search for its next conductor, the members of the WSO have blown me away with their dedication both to the organization and to creating music at a high level. Highlights this season include three symphonies, pieces by female composers on every concert, a variety of pieces composed by diverse living composers, and the much-anticipated return of Anthony Ross (Principal Cello – Minnesota Orchestra). There will be something for everyone to enjoy!

The first concert is centered around the theme of celebration; celebrating both a new chapter in the WSO legacy and the joy that we all feel in coming together to make something beautiful. The second concert is comprised entirely of 19th century French music which features Edouard Lalo’s emotional Cello Concerto in D Minor, bookended by two ballet suites. Our third concert is thought provoking, and will challenge us to consider the sometimes subtle nuances between fate and destiny. Just as painters carefully choose their color palette, so too will we explore dark and light shades of sound in our fourth and final concert of the season.

Each and every one of these concerts has something unique to offer. The WSO is a hidden gem, presenting exceptionally high-quality and meaningful performances. Please help us to expand the impact we seek to make both musically and in our community by supporting us financially with your tax-deductible donation.

I can’t wait to see you at our concerts this season!