Appalachian Spring – The debut of Kids’philharmonic Chamber Orchestra

About the Kids’philharmonic Chamber Orchestra

Kids’philharmonic Chamber Orchestra was founded in April 2015 by conductor Luo Wei and a group of fellow musicians. Their objective of establishing this orchestra was to be able to apply chamber music principles of individual participation and responsibility on a professional orchestral platform.

Kids’philharmonic Chamber Orchestra is formed by young musicians trained in Singapore. All of them are alumni students from YST, NAFA or SOTA. They hope to set an example to the kids in Kids’philharmonic@sg by committing to the orchestra with regular weekly rehearsals. The musicians who comprises Kids’philharmonic chamber Orchestra have each received individual recognition as outstanding soloists. Together they bring a wide breadth of musical experience to the orchestra – a diversity which constantly enriches and nurtures the musical growth of the ensemble.

The orchestra creates extraordinary musical experiences and strives to be the Singapore’s premier orchestra by performing music at the highest level, challenging artistic boundaries, inspiring the public to think and work with new perspectives, and building a broader and more active audience in Singapore.

About the Appalachian Spring Concert

  • AARON COPLAND Appalachian Spring

Copland began his crowning work of Americana, Appalachian Spring, in 1943. The dancer and choreographer Martha Graham asked him to compose a ballet score, with the commission funded by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. Copland kept Graham’s style in mind: He saw “something prim and restrained, simple yet strong about her, which one tends to think of as American.” He worked under the title Ballet for Martha until not long before the premiere, when Graham suggested Appalachian Spring, borrowing the phrase from Hart Crane’s poem “The Bridge.” The writer Edwin Denby summarized the scenario for the original program notes:

“A pioneer celebration in spring around a newly-built farmhouse in the Pennsylvania hills in the early part of the last century. The bride-to-be and the young farmer-husband enact the emotions, joyful and apprehensive, their new domestic partnership invites. An older neighbor suggests now and then the rocky confidence of experience. A revivalist and his followers remind the new householders of the strange and terrible aspects of human fate. At the end the couple are left quiet and strong in their new house.”

Appalachian Spring debuted on October 30, 1944, in Washington, D.C. The limited dimensions of the Library of Congress’s 500-seat auditorium dictated a small ensemble, so Copland’s score used just thirteen instruments. Appalachian Spring earned Copland the Pulitzer Prize in 1945, cementing his reputation as the leading composer of his generation.

Copland built the unmistakable sound world of Appalachian Spring mostly out of simple and familiar musical materials. The first section builds a hazy wash of consonant sonorities, especially triads and the open intervals of fourths and fifths. The following section energizes similarly basic materials—octave leaps, triadic intervals and descending major scales—into spry dance music. The scoring emphasizes crisp and brilliant colors, with emphasis on the piano. There is a tender scene for the young couple, a lively romp depicting the revivalist and his dancing minions, and a brisk solo dance for the bride, which dissipates into a return of the gentle, triadic wash of the beginning.

The famous section that follows, starting with a theme in the clarinet, presents the tune of Simple Gifts, a Shaker dance song written in 1848 by Joseph Brackett. The folksy melody fits seamlessly into the homespun, diatonic language of Copland’s score, and the increasingly grand variations build the ballet to its transcendental climax. A prayer-like chorale provides a final coda.

  • RACHMANINOV Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No. 5

Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5, is a music piece by Sergei Rachmaninoff, completed in 1901. It was included in his Opus 23 set of ten preludes, despite having been written two years earlier than the other nine. Rachmaninoff himself premiered the piece in Moscow on February 10, 1903, along with Preludes No. 1 and 2 from Op. 23.

Piano – Ge Xiao Zhe

  • GEORGE ENESCU Conzertstück for Viola and Piano

The Enesco Concertpiece, composed in 1906, is a rite of passage for young viola players. Technically demanding and virtuosic, is It is often performed as a competition piece to show off the technical abilities of the performer, or to add a final flourish to a recital.

Viola – Keita Suyama      Piano – Ge Xiao Zhe

  • HENRYK WIENIAWSKI Variations on an original theme op.15

The Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 15, were composed in 1854 and published the same year by Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipzig. Based on variation technique, the form of the composition is untypical. The subject with three variations (in the major) is preceded by an introduction in the minor with elements of a cadenza. This passage reappears after the variations and is followed by a finale in the form of a brilliant waltz ending in an effective coda. The Variations – like other compositions by Wieniawski – require freedom in chord and octave playing, skill in performing various types of staccato, brilliant passage-work and other virtuoso technique as well as purity of intonation when playing harmonics.

Violin – Zhang Chi      Piano – Ge Xiao Zhe

  • JOSEPH HAYDN Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major

The Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob. VIIb/1, by Joseph Haydn was composed around 1761-65 for longtime friend Joseph Franz Weigl, then the principal cellist of Prince Nicolaus’s Esterházy Orchestra.

The first movement, marked Moderato, begins with a confident, courtly theme with dotted rhythms; in contrast, the second subject is softer and more sinuous, establishing a more lyrical mood. The mildly syncopated orchestral exposition ends with Lombardic rhythms at the conclusion of the orchestral introduction. When the cello enters and takes command of the themes, it launches the first theme with a resonant C major chord, eventually presenting each melody in an increasingly ornate manner. The development engages the cellist in intense passage-work derived from the primary theme, while reappearances of the second subject allow the soloist to sing more expansively. Haydn works through the theme groups in sequence twice before reaching the cadenza and a brief coda derived from the movement’s opening measures.

Cello – Zhang Tong


Tzigane opens with an extended solo for the violin (Lento, quasi cadenza), buried in the middle of which is a theme characterized by a dotted-rhythm, falling-fifth figure which serves as the melodic meat for much of the work. The piano enters with its own chromatic mini-cadenza as the soloist’s fiery technical gestures and robust double stops subside into flickering double tremolos and a pair of unaccompanied trills that usher in the main body of the piece. The remainder of Tzigane is worked out in a clearly sectional manner. After a restatement of the falling-fifth idea by the violin, the piano produces its own little theme, a staccato tune that makes thorough use of the typically “gypsy” interval of an augmented second. Sometime later, a bombastic Grandioso breaks in. After a brief pause, the violin resumes in sixteenth note perpetual motion, colored by such features as Paganini-like left-hand pizzicato. The musical line accelerates and decelerates time and again until it finally achieves unstoppable momentum. The work comes to an end with three incisive chords.

Violin – Luo Wei      Piano – Ge Xiao Zhe

  • SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY Double Bass concerto in E-minor, 2 and 3 movements

Serge Koussevitzky (July 26 [O.S. July 14] 1874 — June 4, 1951) was a Russian-born conductor, composer and double-bassist, known for his long tenure as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924 to 1949.

Double Bass – Lee Si Yuan      Piano – Ge Xiao Zhe

The tickets for the concert are available at SISTIC now!

What is exciting is taking back the excitement of being able to debut something to an audience in exactly the way you want to.
– Trent Reznor-