The Northern Neck Orchestra will present an entertaining and informative series of free online videos hosted by Music Director Michael Repper with the first of four talks premiering March 2 on YouTube.
A new program will debut every two weeks through April 13. All videos will be available continuously following their initial release.
The series, “Music with Michael Repper,” will showcase the conductor’s unique talent to enhance the appreciation of classical music in fun and innovative ways and feature performances by stellar members of the orchestra, said Ammon G. Dunton, Jr., chairman of the orchestra.
The talks will outline the historical development of classical music through the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras and feature essential works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Clara Schumann and Scott Joplin. The programs also place the music of each era within the broader context of the cultural, philosophical and scientific developments of its time.
The music in the series will be performed by Repper at the piano joined by guest violinists Adelya Shagidullina and Wanchi. The violinists are members of the Northern Neck Orchestra and have performed at numerous concert venues, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
“We are delighted to provide this outstanding series of educational lectures by Michael which are in the style of his highly successful pre-concert talks,” said Dunton. “I know you will enjoy these wonderful programs and come away with an even deeper appreciation of the wonders of great classical music,” he said. “Please share them with your friends on the Northern Neck and beyond.”
Dunton also suggested that viewers help sustain the orchestra during the pandemic by clicking the donation link on the orchestra’s website. “With your support, we can do even more talks like these in the future,” he added.
The 20 to 30-minute programs will be released on the following dates at 7 p.m.:
Bach and the Baroque Era on March 2: The first talk introduces the Baroque period with a focus on Johann Sebastian Bach and the balance of complexity and order in his groundbreaking work. Violinist Wanchi will perform Bach’s moving Chaconne with Repper at the piano.
Music for the Age of Enlightenment: The Art of the Fugue on March 16: The second lecture extends the discussion of the Baroque era and its historical environment with a review of the construction of the fugue and its ingenious interweaving of multiple voices. Repper will perform Fugue No. 1 in C Minor from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, whose exquisite harmonies resonate today.
The Classical Era, Mozart and Beethoven on March 30: The third talk introduces the classical style present in the compositions of Mozart, Haydn and a significant portion of Beethoven’s work. Repper will play Mozart’s memorable Piano Sonata in C Major. Violinist Adelya Shagidullina will perform the first movement of Beethoven’s delightful Spring Sonata with Repper at the piano.
The Romantic Era: Music for the Sake of Emotion on April 13: The series concludes with a review of the Romantic period and its passionate appeal to human emotions. Repper will perform Chopin’s haunting Prelude No. 4. He will be joined Adelya Shagidullina in Clara Schumann’s wistful Romanze No. 2.
Repper said he hopes the talks will help viewers find new ways of listening to music by learning its historical context and understanding its basic structure. “Music is not rocket science,” he said. “All you have to do is open your hearts and minds to what you are hearing.”