Sunday, February 3, 2013
Gilbert D. Bristol Auditorium,
Old Rochester Regional High School
135 Marion Rd., Mattapoisett, MA
Tickets $10 (Students $5, Children 12 and under are free)
This program of music written for and about the aristocracy begins with Rimsky-Korsakov's "Procession of the Nobles." The opening brass fanfare announces the entry of the nobility in this cortege from the opera "Mlada". This opera was the first work of Rimsky-Korsakov's to show the influence of Richard Wagner, who affected so many composers of the time. Although the opera was a failure, this dramatic offering has been enjoyed by audiences since its first introduction.
The band version of Scenes from “The Louvre” is taken from the original score of the NBC television special that was first broadcast nationally in November 1964. Norman Dello Joio received the Emmy Award for that season’s most outstanding musical score written for television. Bearing the subtitle “based on Ancient Airs,” the five movements of this suite cover the period of the famous Paris museum’s development during the Renaissance and are based on themes from composers of that period. The Portals begins with a low brass choir and evokes notions of the grandeur of the Louvre. The light, delicate staccato playing of the clarinets conveys the gaiety of children at play in the Children’s Gallery. Visions of state occasions and courtly dances evolve from the brass’ contrapuntal parts in The Kings of France. The religious theme "In Dulci Jubilo" appears in Nativity Paintings and features the solo clarinet and oboe. The Finale is introduced by a royal fanfare and bears the pomp and elegance of the era as the ensemble brings the work to a noble conclusion.
"Prince Igor" is an opera in four acts with a prologue composed by Alexander Borodin. The composer adapted the libretto from the East Slavic epic "The lay of Igor's Host", which recounts the campaign of Russian prince Igor Svyatoslavich against the invading Polovtsian tribes in 1185. He also incorporated material drawn from two medieval Kievan chronicles. The opera was left unfinished upon the composer's death in 1887 and was edited and completed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov. It was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1890.
English composer William Walton's "Crown Imperial" was first performed at the coronation of King George VI in 1937, and substantially revised in 1953. Walton composed the march originally for performance at the coronation of King Edward VIII, which was scheduled for May 12,1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936. The coronation was held on the scheduled day, with Edward's brother George VI being crowned instead. "Crown Imperial" was also performed at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, along with another Coronation March written by Walton, "Orb and Sceptre." "Crown Imperial" is one of the most popular of Walton's orchestral compositions and was performed again as a recessional piece to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011.
Mark Romatz will take a short break from his chair in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra to perform the "Bassoon Concerto in F Major" by Carl Maria von Weber. This concerto is one of the most often performed and studied pieces in the bassoon repertory. It was composed in 1811 for Georg Friedrich Brandt, a bassoonist in the Munich court of Maximilian Josef Garnerin, Count von Montgelas. Weber’s talent for characterization is well suited to a piece featuring the bassoon. The bassoon is capable of a wide range of characters and emotions, and in his concerto Weber captures them all. At the end of the piece after the final statement of the theme, the bassoonist engages in a flurry of scales and arpeggios, showing off in one of the bassoon repertoire’s flashiest and most virtuosic finales.
"Boris Godunov" is an opera by Modest Mussorgsky that was composed between 1868 and 1873 in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is Mussorgsky's only completed opera and is considered his masterpiece. Its subjects are the Russian ruler Boris Godunov, who reigned as Tsar (1598 to 1605) during the Time of Troubles, and his nemesis, the False Dmitriy (reigned 1605 to 1606). The "Coronation Scene" is often extracted for orchestral and concert band performance as it combines the elegant grandeur and intense emotion of the noble event. "Boris Godunov" comes closer to the status of a repertory piece than any other Russian opera, even Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin", and is the most recorded Russian opera.