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Source: Resonance Ensemble

On Sunday 17 September, Resonance Ensemble presents a programme, conducted by Tony Ryan, comprising music written by Russian and American composers between 1915 and 1954 – spanning a turbulent time in world history, including World War I, the Russian Revolution, World War II, and the first years of the Cold War. But all the works in the concert demonstrate that great music transcends conflict and aggression and leads to a Confluence (or ‘coming together’) despite the hostility of misguided political motives.

Resonance Ensemble’s programme opens with Shostakovich’s joyous and popular Festive Overture of 1954, written in just three days in response to a last-minute commission to celebrate the thirty-seventh anniversary of Russia’s October Revolution.

Just two years before that, Aaron Copland finished arranging a group of traditional American songs, full of nostalgia, concord, and humour. Christchurch soprano, Helen Charlton, joins the orchestra for six of these captivating Old American Songs. Ten years earlier Copland responded to America’s entry into World War II with his remarkably original Fanfare for the Common Man, one of ten fanfares commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1942, and the only one to have survived as a masterpiece in its own right. Resonance Ensemble’s brass and percussion line-up for this fanfare is gloriously spectacular.

Helen will also sing Rachmaninov’s famous Vocalise and Samuel Barber’s movingly lyrical Sure on this Shining Night; both songs written by their respective composers just before two of the twentieth century’s most devastating events – the Russian Revolution of 1917, and World War II.

The concert concludes with Shostakovich’s inspired, appealing, and high-spirited Ninth Symphony of 1945; one of his shortest symphonies, and also one of enduring popularity despite its criticism by Stalin’s sycophantic toadies as being “ideologically weak”, and for its failure to “reflect the true spirit of the people of the Soviet Union”. … Decide for yourselves!

Resonance Ensemble – Confluence

Conductor: Tony Ryan

Soloist: Helen Charlton (Soprano)

At The Piano, 156 Armagh Street, Christchurch

Sunday 17 September, 3.00pm

Book at Humanitix: (No booking fee)

More details at:

and The Piano/Events