16. Spring is in the Air – Music by Korngold, Britten, and Grieg
What music do you hear when you think of spring? For many, the answer must be “Morning Mood” excerpted from Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s First Peer Gynt Suite. If the numerous allergy medicine commercials which feature this music have intrigued you to hear more, come to downtown Alexandria this Saturday to hear Grieg’s suite in full alongside some other great music.
This Saturday, the Rapides Symphony Orchestra will rouse audiences with another exciting program of great classical music. From the beautifully mystical opening of Korngold’s Violin Concerto to the powerful march of the trolls which concludes Grieg’s First Peer Gynt Suite, the concert “Spring is in the Air” should reawaken its listeners after a long cold winter, instilling in them the same new life that has recently begun to bloom all around us.
The concert begins with Austrian composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D major. After escaping Nazi Germany’s foreboding expansionist policy of the late 1930s, this Mahler-protégé came to America where he lent his talents to Hollywood for a while, before attempting a return to the concert hall. It is these same lush Hollywood melodies that feature so prominently in his Violin Concerto. Here’s music that has found a tremendous following in recent years: Saturday evening, soloist Lin He will join the Rapides Symphony Orchestra in introducing this composition to many of you.
Next on the program are British composer Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes—four orchestral movements excerpted from his opera Peter Grimes. Another masterwork of the twentieth century, Peter Grimes possesses a dark, seafaring mood which ingeniously captures the tragedy of the work’s storyline. Edvard Grieg’s familiar First Peer Gynt Suite will close-out what will certainly be a sensational concert. Learn more about this exciting repertoire in the informative program notes I have prepared.
“Spring is in the Air” will be held at Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 15 at 7:30 PM. Come ready to hear some great music presented by Maestro Joshua Zona, soloist Lin He, and the Rapides Symphony Orchestra.
Also, keep in mind that City Park Players will be presenting the musical Crowns both this weekend and next. The show with its distinctive look at gospel and other trends in contemporary church music opens tonight at 7:30 PM at the Hearn Stage. Crowns and the other musicals coming your way in late March and early April will be the subject of my next post.
Hope to see you soon at these and other great events across central Louisiana!
About Jackson. Jackson Harmeyer is a recent graduate of the Louisiana Scholars’ College—Louisiana’s designated honors college located on the campus of Northwestern State University. There, he studied music history, completing an undergraduate thesis entitled “Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.” Now living in Alexandria, he is one of the founding members of TicketCentral and will also be writing this season’s program notes for the Rapides Symphony Orchestra.