January 1, 2016

From the Stage: RPO Principal Flute Rebecca Gilbert

RPO Principal Flute Rebecca Gilbert tells us why she feels connected to Copland's Appalachian Spring, the featured piece on the next Sunday Matinee at Hochstein Performance Hall on January 10 at 2 PM. Listeners will recognize the last movement of the piece featuring a beautiful variation on the classic Shaker melody Simple Gifts ('Tis the gift to be simple, tis the gift to be free...).

Conducted by Michael Butterman, the program also includes works by Wagner, Strauss, and Mahler. Tickets are $25.
Rebecca Gilbert, flute
The Charlotte Whitney Allen Chair
Rebecca Gilbert
credit: Roger Mastroianni

In his 1990 New York Times obituary, Aaron Copland was dubbed “Dean of American Music” because of his distinctive harmonic language and vivid settings of quintessentially American subjects. In his ballet Appalachian Spring, written for choreographer Martha Graham, the storyline of the transformation of a pioneer woman and the passing of traditions, strength, and resilience is described in eight beautiful scenes. The feminine voice of the flute is featured in a very prominent role throughout the work and the flute solos are some of the loveliest and most satisfying to play in the entire repertoire.

This is one of the first pieces I shared with my children after they were born because of the beautifully soothing and nostalgic feeling that permeates the music. The joyful, ennobling innocence in this music continues to give me great comfort on the great journey of motherhood. It makes me feel connected to the countless generations of women who have forged their own paths and, each in their own way, contributed invaluable wisdom and insight to our collective evolutionary well-being.

If you go:
Appalachian Spring

Sunday, January 10 at 2 PM
Hochstein Performance Hall
Tickets are $25
Visit rpo.org for more details

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