When you think classical, you might think Mozart, Haydn, even Beethoven. But this weekend the Northwest Sinfonietta want you to think Prokofiev and Mendelssohn. For their concerts in Seattle, Tacoma and Puyallup the Tacoma-based chamber orchestra is playing a program that goes from the early 19th to the early 20th centuries – way later than the standard classical time-period – but includes two composers that took inspiration from the late 18th century, plus a cello concerto with stunning local soloist David Requiro.
Sergei Prokofiev opens the program, the Soviet-era composer who reinvented classical form and balance with modern harmonies and dissonances. His Symphony no. 1 is called “The Classical” for a good reason: a tribute to Haydn, it dances through 18th-century styles like the gavotte and sonata form with precision and grace, without any of the heavy depression of his later works. Felix Mendelssohn ends the evening with his “Italian” Symphony, the fourth, a joyous romp through Mendelssohn’s own youthful wanderings in Italy and the folk music he heard there. While it has Mendelssohn’s typically Romantic tone painting and emotion, it’s also highly structured and scored for a small chamber orchestra, with more old-fashioned dances – a gavotte and a mysterious pavane – in the middle.
But it’s the soloist who’s the highlight of the evening. David Requiro, cellist of the Puget Sound Piano Trio and artist-in-residence at the University of Puget Sound, is an award-winning musician whose artistry comes from his thoughtful expression and impeccably precise technique. He’ll play the Saint-Saëns cello concerto no. 1, a virtuosic favorite wth shimmering orchestral backdrop.
7:30 p.m. April 27, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle. 866-833-4747
7:30 p.m. April 28, Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma. 800-291-7593
2 p.m. April 29, Pioneer Park Pavilion, 330 S. Meridian Ave., Puyallup. 800-838-3006
$19-$49, student rush $10 90 minutes before performances. nwsinfonietta.org