Alma Symphony Orchestra Performs Russian Classics
The enchantment of Russian classical music, from the charm of “Peter and the Wolf” to the dramatic exhilaration of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, will highlight the Alma Symphony Orchestra’s annual mid-winter concert.
The 80-member symphony orchestra will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 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.
“We have chosen our favorite movements from several well-known Russian symphonies,” says Murray Gross, ASO director. “For the musicians, this will be a very challenging but fun concert to play. The audience will really enjoy it.”
Members of the Alma Symphony Orchestra
The first half of the concert will feature the well known “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev. Serving as guest narrator for the piece will be Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
“I’ve directed this piece many times and always look for someone with some celebrity to be the narrator,” says Gross. “Lt. Gov. Calley was recommended by one of the members of the Symphony Council. I’m pleased he has agreed to serve as our narrator.”
“Peter and the Wolf” is popular with children because it introduces the individual instruments of the orchestra, says Gross.
“While some think of this as a children’s piece, it is challenging for the orchestra,” says Gross. “It is a fun, enjoyable piece for everybody, not just children.”
The second half of the program will highlight four movements from four different Russian symphonies. They were composed in different time periods and will be performed in chronological order.
The first movement from Alexander Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 in B minor is not as well known as the other works on the program, but it has a memorable tune in it, says Gross.
The third movement of Sergei Rachmaninov‘s Symphony No. 2 in E minor features “absolutely gorgeous music — some of the most beautiful music ever written,” says Gross.
The short, light third movement of Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony in D major is described as “a sorbet in the middle of a full-course meal.”
The concert’s finale features the fourth movement from Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor, which Gross describes as “a very intense, dramatic piece with an incredible ending full of exhilaration.”
Calley was sworn in as the youngest lieutenant governor in the United States on New Year’s Day 2011. He was named one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Americans" by the United States Junior Chamber and one of Crain's Detroit Business's "40 under 40." A native of Ionia, he lives in Portland with his wife Julie and their three children.
Posted: Mon, January 28th, 2013 at 9:13AM