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Article updated: 2/19/2013 8:01 PM

All Things English at Fox Valley Orchestra concert

Merrick Jones principal cellist performs the Elgar Cello Concerto.

Merrick Jones principal cellist performs the Elgar Cello Concerto.

 
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By Gail Sonkin

Treat yourself to an afternoon of beautiful music as the Fox Valley Orchestra presents the works of British composer Edward Elgar in a concert series entitled "All Things English" on Saturday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles and on Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 p.m. at the Crimi Auditorium at Aurora University.

After beginning the 2012-2013 season with concerts featuring works of Russian Masters and American composers, the orchestra is turning to England. Maestro Dr. Colin Holman, who is from England himself, says, "I feel emotionally as close to Elgar as any composer. Aside from the strong element of nationalism present in his music, the English countryside (more so than city life) is so omnipresent in the melodic contours of his music, together with a wistfulness and nostalgia that I have constantly returned to in my life. I hope we can bring some of that character to our performance."

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The concert includes Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 in G. This is not the usual march heard at graduations, but it has the same regal quality that lifts the spirit. Written between 1901 and 1930, these marches are among Elgar's better-known works. In addition, The Crown of India Suite, op. 66 is featured on the program. Composed to commemorate a court ceremony held for the crowning of George V as Emperor of India, The Crown of India Suite, a theatrical presentation, grew out of collaboration between Elgar and playwright Henry Hamilton. It premiered in 1912 and was extremely popular with the critics and audiences. The orchestral suite, with five movements, condenses the theatrical production to an orchestral score. Also on the program is Elgar's Serenade for Strings

Principal cellist Merrick Jones is the featured artist performing Elgar's beloved Cello Concerto. Like many innovative compositions, the concerto had a disastrous premier, but is now considered one of Elgar's finest works, and one of the most popular cello pieces in the classical repertoire.

Tickets are $12 in advance, $13 at the door. Seniors are $10 in advance and $11 at the door. Children under 8 are $5. Visit www.foxvalleyorchestra.org for more information.

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