National Art Centre Orchestra
Alexander Shelley conductor
Jess Gillam saxophone
Andrew Balfour niya (I Am)
Anna Clyne Glasslands for Saxophone and Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, “Choral”
Ludwig van Beethoven rocked the world of classical music in many ways, and his Symphony No. 9, with its spine-tingling “Ode to Joy,” was a radical work that introduced singing into a symphony for the first time—and what singing it was!
Anna Clyne’s Glasslands, a co-commission of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, BBC Radio 3, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, “conjures an imaginary world of three realms governed by the banshee—a female spirit who, in Irish folklore, heralds the death of a family member, usually by wailing, shrieking, or keening in the silence of the night.” Featured soloist British saxophonist Jess Gillam is musical lightning in a bottle, animating the world with her outstanding talent and infectious personality, every ounce of which she shares for this performance.
ᓂᔭ niya (I Am), by Winnipeg-based composer Andrew Balfour, was commissioned by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as a companion piece to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Of Cree descent, Balfour is an innovative, multi-faceted composer/conductor with a large body of choral, instrumental, electro-acoustic and orchestral works.