Joseph Peterson: Three Pieces from the Pandemic WORLD PREMIERE
Winner of the 2022 UCDSO Composition Award
Miguel Farías: Kuyén (Violin Concerto) WORLD PREMIERE
with Rachel Lee Priday
a UCDSO Commission with funds from Ibermúsicas
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 8
About the program—
Evoking a multitude of feelings brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, UC Davis graduate student composer Joseph Peterson—winner of the 2022 UCDSO Composition Award—names the three ‘Pandemic’ pieces—(1) Scrolling, (2) Hope in these uncertain times, (3) and We are the flood. The work as a whole attempts to capture the sometimes-at-odds-with-one-another feelings we have each had during these pandemic years: anxiousness, calm, and mourning. And yet, the pieces end with a final hopeful glimmer.
Miguel Farías’s Kuyén was written for violinist Rachel Lee Priday and conductor Christian Baldini, and was commissioned by UC Davis Symphony Orchestra with funds from Ibermúsicas. In this violin concerto, Kuyén is represented by the violin soloist. Kuyén creates bright resonances against the orchestra, which represents the Earth. The connections made between the two entities are sometimes represented in harsh and rustic sounds, exploring the roots of humanity. Kuyén comes from the Mapudungun word küyen of the Mapuche people, who are indigenous peoples from portions of Chile and Argentina. Kuyén is a personification of the moon in their culture—the feminine of creation. Antu, the sun, and the most powerful pillán (deity) chose Kuyén as his wife, which caused the envy of the rest of the Wangulens (female stars), and ended with a revolt. Antu punished the rebels, and the Wangulens lost their luster, so, after that the brightest light of the night is Kuyén.
As the title of the program suggests (“Pastoral Moods”), a little bit of nature is present in every piece on the program. Antonín Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony in particular is filled with natural imagery: the songs of calm rolling hills, complete with solo flute lines that echo across orchestral landscapes. Should any audience member become lost in the bucolic and waltz-like nature of the first three movements, they’ll be awoken by a dramatic trumpet call in the final movement, which gives way to a rousing finale evocative of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances.