Mozart Festival Orchestra bring night of dramatic classical music to Royal & Derngate

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The Four Seasons by Candlelight promises a stunning evening of classical music at the Royal & Derngate on Wednesday.

The Four Seasons has become one of the most celebrated pieces of classical music ever written and remains as popular today as when it was first performed.

The music will be performed by the Mozart Festival Orchestra and led by conductor and violinist David Juritz Juritz was born in Cape Town, South Africa and began learning the violin when he was five.

He has become established as one of the most versatile violinists currently working in the UK.

Ahead of the performance, Juritz answered a few questions about the piece and his career.

*Q - The Four Seasons is always featuring in charts of most popular classical works - why do you think that is?*

“It helps that it’s great music, obviously, but I think that’s only part of it.

“It’s hard to think of another piece of music which packs so much variety into one work.

“It’s filled with musical ‘hooks’ that everyone can latch on to and also Vivaldi uses the orchestra in amazingly colourful and dramatic way but always with a sense of playfulness.

“Vivaldi was one of the greatest of all baroque composers but I suspect that even he realised that he was inspired when he composed the Seasons.”

*Q - Why does performing The Four Seasons provide so much enjoyment?*

“Vivaldi gives musicians incredible scope, not only in some really virtuosic writing for violin, but also in how to interpret his score.

“There are all sorts of images and sounds; thunder: barking dogs: buzzing flies: hunting scenes and even binge drinking.

“On the tour we are always trying out new ideas which also keeps everyone on their toes.”

*Q - Does it feel different performing the programme of classical favourites in period costume as opposed to normal orchestra attire?*

“The costumes look great and give the whole concert a sense of style.

“I also think that the musicians, in a way, play up to the wigs and frock-coats.

“I suppose it’s bit like getting into a role the way actors do.

“This summer I played the Four Seasons at a festival in Spain wearing ‘normal’ clothes.

“I felt like I wasn’t properly dressed.”

*Q - How many times have you performed the works as the soloist?*

Quite a few over the years. After I’d played it 40 or so times I started to worry about my becoming stale and, it was only after that point that I realised the only way to keep fresh was to really explore the music.

“I’ve played it many major times since then but i still find it challenging and exciting every time I go out on stage.”

*Q - As a professional musician how many hours a day do you put aside for practising?*

“On a good day i like to do at least three to four hours practising.

“That doesn’t include rehearsing with other people and, of course with travelling and life in general, it can be hard to find the time.

“I even take a fiddle on holiday with me now, partly to keep myself in shape, but also because I really love spending an hour or so working on things.”

*Q - If you hadn't been a professional violinist, what career do you think you would have taken up?*

My dad was a physicist and my son is studying physics at uni so there might be a clue there.

“I was also interested in architecture before I won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music.”

*Q - What advice would you give a young musician who has aspirations to become a professional member of an orchestra?*

“I wouldn’t want to do anything else myself but these days a musician’s life can be pretty tough and often very insecure.

“There’s also a lot of competition with people from all over the world chasing jobs and it takes a long time to train to a professional level.

“You need to be very determined to get there.

“If you are that determined my best advice is to practise slowly. And I mean REALLY slowly.

“I always tell students that good technique is like dish-washing liquid; if it’s good quality, you don’t need much of it. The same goes for practise.”

*The Mozart Festival Orchestra takes to the Derngate stage for The Four Seasons by Candlelight on Wednesday, November 18 at 7.30pm. *

Tickets cost from £16.50 to £32.50 before fees.*

For more information and to book tickets, call 01604 624811 or onlinewww.royalandderngate.co.uk