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Berks Sinfonietta’s October Virtual Concert, Saturday, October 24

Story written by David A. McConnell

Oct 19, 2020

Berks Sinfonietta presents the third concert of its virtual Fall season on Saturday, October 24 at 7:30 pm. The performance will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube. Readers can connect to the live broadcast by visiting

This month the string orchestra explores two gorgeous works by English composer Gerald Finzi and Mexican composer Manuel Ponce. Finzi’s “Romance,” written in 1928, is passionate in character and rich in its melodic invention. The writing is characteristically open-hearted and approachable – it’s calm opening, evoking the English countryside, builds to an impassioned climax before returning to the opening mood. Ponce’s “Estampas Nocturnas,” is a little-known gem, composed between 1908 and 1912. At the title implies, the four movements evoke nocturnal images, along with a charming Gavotte, a gorgeous lullaby and rhythmically propulsive and melodically rich finale.

Sinfonietta’s Wind Quinet performs American composer Amy Cheney Beach’s touching “Pastorale,” and nine of our wind players come together to perform French composer Charles Gounod’s “Petite Symphonie.” Composed late in his career, the work was premiered in April 30, 1885, although much of it harkens back to the earlier classical era. The first movement has a slow introduction followed by an allegro in sonata form. The second is a gorgeous andante cantabile, almost an aria for flute. The third is a spritely scherzo with trio. The finale is another allegro, sparkling energetic lightness. Despite its long melodic lines and sometimes unexpected harmonic shifts in development sections, it is, at its heart, recalling an earlier, simpler era.

Viewing is open to all and free, though the orchestra appreciates donations equaling its usual ticket costs of $15/Adult and $5/Child. Join us for an evening of fabulous music, Saturday, October 24 at 7:30 pm. Streamed live on Facebook and YouTube – for more information, visit

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