Showcase January-February 2015 - page 27

27
JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2015 MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA
jan
30, 31
Artist
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Profile appears on page 12.
one-minute notes
Tchaikovsky:
Romeo and Juliet
, Fantasy-Overture
Drawing inspiration from Shakespeare’s tragic romance, Tchaikovsky
introduces Romeo’s friar with a chorale tune and depicts the feuding
families with darker music. Finally, a soaring melody portrays the young
lovers.
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from
West Side Story
In Bernstein’s timeless work, unforgettable tunes and powerful dances—
including a thrilling, syncopated
Mambo
—bring to life the heart-breaking
story of young lovers and rival street gangs.
Prokofiev: Selections from
Romeo and Juliet
These
Romeo and Juliet
selections from Prokofiev’s ballet summon vivid
images, from a masked ball to a violent duel to a blissful wedding night.
The somber closing music reflects the star-crossed lovers’ tragic end.
Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
Romeo and Juliet, painting by Ford Madox Brown, 1870,
the year Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet premiered.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Born:
May 7, 1840, Votkinsk, Russia
Died:
November 6, 1893, St. Petersburg
Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture
he fateful story of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers
has attracted a range of composers, from Bellini
to Berlioz, from Gounod to Proko ev. Perhaps it was
inevitable that so dramatic a story should appeal to
the young Tchaikovsky, struggling to nd his way
as a composer. In the summer of 1869, shortly after
Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony had been savaged by critics,
composer Mily Balakirev suggested that Shakespeare’s
play might make a tting subject for an orchestral work.
Balakirev sketched an outline for the piece and even
contributed part of a theme. Intrigued, Tchaikovsky set to
work on October 7 of that year and had the score in rst
draft by November 27. It would (eventually) be his rst
real success.
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