Alma Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Romantic Russia
Romantic music from Russia, including the colorful “Pictures at an
Exhibition,” along with guest cellist James Fiste will highlight the
Alma Symphony Orchestra’s second performance of the 2008-09 season.
The concert takes place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23 in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
The ASO, in its 49th season, is conducted by Music Director Murray Gross. The approximately 65-member orchestra comprises a mixture of Alma College student musicians and professional performers.
Gross (right) discusses "Pictures At an Exhibition" during a recent
visit to Alma Middle School. Student illustrations will be on display
in the Remick Heritage Center when the Alma Sympony Orchestra performs
“Pictures at an Exhibition,” originally composed by Modest
Mussorgsky as a piano work, has been orchestrated by many different
composers over the years, says Gross.
“We’re doing an orchestration by English composer Carl Simpson that is very descriptive,” says Gross. “The work is based on pictures that Muggorsky saw on display. The different movements are related to particular pictures, which range from dark and scary to light and fun, like the one titled ‘Ballet of Chicks in Their Shells.’ It ends with ‘The Great Gate of Kiev,’ a big Russian hymn that is very dramatic and colorful.”
Fiste will join the orchestra as soloist for Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme.” An active recitalist and orchestral player, Fiste has performed as a soloist at concerts around the world, including Budapest, Paris and Barcelona.
“Tchaikovsky’s ‘Variations’ really shows off the solo cello and orchestra,” says Gross. “It is a real challenge for the soloist, and it’s good experience for the orchestra to accompany such a fine performer.”
Other works on the program include Polonaise from “Christmas Eve” by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov and “Vocalise” by Sergei Rachmaninoff.
“The very rhythmic Polonaise will be a terrific way to open our concert, while ‘Vocalise’ is very romantic Russian music, a gorgeous tune played by violins,” says Gross.
A former member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, Fiste is co-artistic director for the Plymouth Chamber Music Festival in Plymouth, Mass., and was a founding member of the Stonehill Trio, in residence at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. Along with teaching cello at Alma College, Fiste is associate professor of cello at Central Michigan University.
Posted: Fri, November 14th, 2008 at 8:10AM