The repertoire for the concert is:
"War March of the Priests" from Athalia by Felix Mendelssohn
Pavane for a Dead Princess by Maurice Ravel
Symphony 1 in g minor by Vasily Kalinnikov
Russian composer Vasily Kalinnikov’s First Symphony in g minor (1894-1895) is no longer well known in the US, but is part of the standard repertoire in Russia. The symphony is described by Joshua Grasso (Forgotten Composers) as “one of the best first symphonies written by any Russian composer in the nineteenth century – including Tchaikovsky”. Its melodies are inspired by Russian folk tunes and have been described as ‘hummable’.
The symphony was given its premiere in Kiev at a Russian Music Society concert, at which the appreciative audience requested repeated performances of the second and third movements. The second movement is hauntingly beautiful, while the third movement is rollicking and playful. The first movement introduces several romantic melodies as well as a rhythmic fugue. The fourth movement reintroduces the symphony’s melodies in fresh and heroic forms.
The Pavane for a Dead Princess (1910) is a composer-orchestrated version of an earlier piano work by Maurice Ravel. The piano composition was dedicated to the Princesse Edmond de Plignac, a French-American music patron who was the daughter of Isaac Singer, the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.
Ravel described the composition as "an evocation of a pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court". A pavane is a slow, stately dance in triple time.
In the orchestral version of the Pavane the solo melody is given to the French horn. Drew Roen is the horn soloist for the SCCO’s performance.
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