SALT LAKE CITY — The Orchestra at Temple Square will kick off its 2004-05 season with a concert featuring Sibelius’ Finlandia, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

The concert will be held on Saturday, 18 September, at 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. Igor Gruppman, principal conductor, will conduct the Orchestra at Temple Square, and they will be joined by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the performances of Finlandia and Vocalise. “To have one of the world’s greatest choirs join the orchestra for Finlandia and Vocalise is a conductor’s dream,” said Gruppman. “We are also especially pleased to feature our own soloists from the orchestra – Tamara Oswald on harp and Jeannine Goeckeritz on flute – for the Mozart concerto.  It will be a delightful evening.”

Finlandia is probably the most widely known composition of Jean Sibelius. Inspired by Finland’s resistance to the efforts of Russia to increase its influence, it quickly became a symbol of Finnish nationalism. Sibelius originally wrote the music in 1899 as part of a longer composition; however, given the great demand, he rewrote it as a separate concert piece.

When Sergey Rachmaninoff first wrote Vocalise, he wrote it specifically to highlight the string bass virtuoso. It wasn’t until later that it was arranged for a number of instruments including voice and orchestra. A vocalise is a type of concert piece where voices – in this case those of the women of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir–are used very much like a solo instrument. Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise is one of the most frequently performed works of its kind.

Mozart composed the Concerto for Harp and Flute in 1778 for one of his brilliant harp students. Given that the harp had not yet won its place in symphonies, it was written for the home rather than the concert stage. Mozart loved both instruments, and combining them brought out a sweetness of sound hardly matched by an orchestral timbre. It remains unmatched as composition for these two instruments.

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 has become one of the most-performed compositions in the concert halls of the world. It is an epic expression of musical energy and anxiety, of fate yielding to mankind’s yearning for a happy ending. Beginning with the distant rumble of a fateful funeral march, it builds toward an increasing mood of optimism and ends in a triumphal march, celebrating man’s control over his own destiny.      

Free tickets are available at the Conference Center ticket office (door 4), or at www.lds.org (click on “Events” on the right side of the home page).  These tickets are limited to those 8 years of age and older.  The doors of the Tabernacle will open at 7:00 p.m., and the length of the performance will be approximately 90 minutes.