November 20, 2017. Concert Notes.

Women, Women, Women!

Monday, November 20, 2017 at 8:00 PM
Brunswick High School Auditorium
Luis Haza, Music Director and Conductor

Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite, Op 66a                             Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky



          Pas de caractere




Carmen Suite No. 1                                                                 George Bizet





          Les Dragons d’Alcala

          Les Toreadors




La Cenerentola Overture                                                          Gioacchimo Rossino

La Italiana in Algeri Overture                                                 Gioacchimo Rossino

La Traviata Overture                                                                 Guiseppe Verdi

Overture to Beautiful Galatea                                                 Franz von Suppe

Overture to Pique Dame                                                           Franz von Suppe

Can Can from La Gaite Parisienne                                         Jacques Offenbach


Experience the worlds of Women, Women, Women!…

as the orchestra gives us an evening of enchanting music with a woman at the center of each piece.  Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite is a concert work taken from Tchaikovsky’s ballet.  He loved the story of a beautiful maiden, put under an evil spell only to be saved by a prince’s kiss.  The music of the suite displays the warm sweetness and great melodies that his devotees loved, and still do today.  Indeed, he never managed a concert suite on his own because he could not bear to drop anything from the ballet!  It would fall to Pyotr Jurgensen, a Russian classical sheet music publisher and Russian composer, Aleksander Siloti, both men Tchaikovsky trusted implicitly, to accomplish the final editing and publication.  The result is a composition that makes full throated use of the entire orchestra, closing with the gently swaying waltz so familiar to all of us.

From the sweetness of Sleeping Beauty, we are taken to the world of the fiery gypsy, Carmen.  The suite is almost entirely comprised of preludes and entr’actes from the four-act opera, and has been acclaimed for its brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere, and orchestration.  Listen for colorful woodwinds over sharply accented percussion, flute over harp arpeggios, a little march song, and a light-hearted air introduced by bassoons and woodwinds, and of course the “Toreador Song” presented by the strings. Bizet’s special skill lies in his ability to musically express the emotions of his characters, and it is beautifully represented in this work.

Following intermission, we are treated to six overtures from operas concerned with women.  We begin with La Cenerentola or Cinderella, and then hear La Italiana in Algeri, the story of an Italian lady who successfully uses her wiles to overtake her husband’s captor in Algiers.  La Traviata follows with the trials of Viloetta Valery, a courtesan who goes astray, and then the comical story of Overture to Beautiful Galatea, where a sculptor asks Venus to turn his lovely statue of Galatea to life only to have her returned to stone when she becomes too much to handle!  The playful  Overture to Pique Dame captivates us before the orchestra closes with the iconic and ever popular Can Can.  Ah, the many worlds of women!