The Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra 51st Season continues on Saturday, November 5, 7:30 p.m. at Dock Mennonite Academy’s Souderton campus (the Early Childhood to Grade 8 campus). Acclaimed Violinist Stephen Cepeda’s virtuosity soars in Max Bruch’s quest for an idyllic dream of Scotland, and the SPSO performs Dvořák’s life-affirming and joyous Symphony No. 8.
Originally titled Fantasy for Violin with Orchestra and Harp, freely using Scottish Folk Melodies, Bruch composed his Scottish Fantasy for legendary violin soloist Joseph Joachim, who contributed significantly to the final product of the work just as Joachim did with Brahms for his Violin Concerto. As with Brahms, Bruch and Joachim had a personal falling out before the Scottish Fantasy was premiered. So, Bruch turned to another acclaimed soloist, Pablo de Sarasate, who also premiered Bruch’s Second Violin Concerto. Sarasate’s performance, in Bruch’s opinion was “careless, lacked modesty, nervous, and lacked insufficient technique. The clown ruined it!” Despite Bruch’s harsh criticism of Sarasate’s performance, the Scottish Fantasy remains a musical escape that seems like a fairy tale and remains one of the great works for violin and orchestra.
For over 50 years, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra has been bringing moving performances of symphonic music and featuring internationally renowned soloists. Violinist Stephen Cepeda has appeared with the Southeastern Pennsylvania over the past decade and is acclaimed for his lush tone and virtuosity. In addition to serving as concertmaster with the Helena Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Scott, Mr. Cepeda has performed as soloist with orchestras around the world.
The performance also includes Dvořák’s powerfully uplifting Symphony No. 8. Inspired by the spiritually of nature, Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony remains one of the most exciting and thrilling works in all of music. “After hearing the infusion of nature in the Eighth Symphony we as listeners experience surprise, an element of the surreal, and certainly a real sense of satisfaction as the work ends swiftly and resoundingly amid a burst of high spirits,” explains Music Director Allan R. Scott. “This is one of those works that makes us feel energized to be alive. It reaffirms all we are and all we can be!”
Performances are held at the performing arts center at Dock Mennonite Academy (Early Childhood to Grade 8 Campus) at 420 Godshall Road, Souderton. The Souderton campus of Dock Mennonite Academy is less than 10 minutes away (about 5 miles) from the center of Lansdale, and the concert venue is a fully accessible performing arts center with no partial view seating, wonderful acoustics, and a great concert experience.