Some­thing new to sneeze about

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

EVER won­dered which mu­si­cal in­stru­ment can best repli­cate the hu­man sneeze? Queens­land Sym­phony Orches­tra con­duc­tor Guy No­ble has had rea­son to pon­der the ques­tion.

‘‘It’s the trom­bone,’’ he laughs and repli­cates the sound of mu­si­cal sneeze as it ex­plodes from brass.

No­ble has the time to think about such ques­tions ahead of Queens­land Sym­phony Orches­tra’s visit to the Gold Coast to­mor­row to per­form a pro­gram called Some­thing Old Some­thing New.

The eclec­tic song list in­cludes Amer­i­can mu­si­cian and hu­mourist Peter Schick­ele’s Fan­fare for the Com­mon Cold, a whimsical spoof of Aaron Co­p­land’s Fan­fare for the Com­mon Man.

‘‘Lovely ti­tle isn’t it,’’ says No­ble.

‘‘Schick­ele is an Amer­i­can com­poser who was fa­mous for his sendup al­ter ego PDQ Bach. I saw him at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1991, and it was one of the best nights I’ve ever had at a con­cert.

‘‘He is an amaz­ing mu­si­cian co­me­dian and this par­tic­u­lar piece is all about sneez­ing. I have a great love for his mu­sic. There’s a lot of hu­mour in it and there’s not enough of that in clas­si­cal mu­sic.’’

Fan­fare for the Com­mon Cold is just one lesser known work that will be per­formed as part of a pro­gram of op­po­sites, old and new; fre­netic and calm; se­ri­ous and funny.

High­lights in­clude a per­for­mance of Gliere’s ex­pres­sive Con­certo for Horn, which thrusts horn player Mal­colm Ste­wart into the spot­light.

The pro­gram also in­cludes Wolf-Fer­rari’s Il se­greto di Su­sanna, Rossini’s Il sig­nor Br­uschino, Faure’s Pa­vane, Massenet’s Manon, Satie’s De­bussy Gymno­pe­die No.1, Schu­bert’s March Mil­i­taire No. 1 in D, Vaughan Wil­liams’ The Wasps, Dvo­rak’s Hu­moresque No. 7, Wag­ner’s Lo­hen­grin, Mozart’s Con­certo No. 4 in E-flat ma­jor for Horn and Orches­tra and Rim­sky-Kor­sakov’s May Night: Over­ture. No­ble likes to de­scribe the eclec­tic pro­gram as a mu­si­cal taster plate. ‘‘It’s not like sit­ting down to a three-course mu­si­cal meal . . . what we of­fer up is a mu­si­cal taster plate.

‘‘We like to of­fer up plenty of va­ri­ety. We’re in the busi­ness of grow­ing an au­di­ences and when you grow an au­di­ence, you want peo­ple to turn up and en­joy them­selves.

‘‘You can’t say ‘This is clas­si­cal mu­sic. It’s good for you like eat­ing brus­sels sprouts.’ You have to be en­ter­tain­ing and I se­ri­ously hope that’s what au­di­ences are go­ing to say we are when it’s all over.

‘‘Great mu­sic has lots of hu­mour. I like to think of th­ese things as an en­ter­tain­ment rather than a con­cert.

‘‘I mean ob­vi­ously cer­tain mu­sic has to be like that. An en­tire Mahler sym­phony can run to more than two hours and can be rather de­press­ing and if that’s what you’re play­ing, all well and good, but we’re not pre­sent­ing any­thing like that.’’

The Queens­land Sym­phony Orches­tra presents Some­thing Old Some­thing New at The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast to­mor­row at 7.30pm. Tick­ets are $25 to $52.

– LISA SIM­MONS

Con­duc­tor and ABC ra­dio pre­sen­ter Guy No­ble

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