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THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 2015, 8PM Pre-concert lecture by Ben Salisbury, 7pm Segerstrom center for the Arts renée and Henry Segerstrom concert Hall


Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)

Piano Concerto

Manuel PONCE (1882-1948)

Allegro non troppo Andante espressivo Vivo - INTERMISSION Concierto del Sur

Manuel PONCE (1882-1948)

Allegro moderato Andante Allegro moderato e festivo

Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor

Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887)

Tour DirecTion Andrew Grossman columbia Artists Management LLc | new York, nY

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RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: RuSSIAn EAStER FEStIVAL OVERtuRE early in 1888, rimsky-Korsakov began to sketch a short work for orchestra that he called La Grand Pâque russe: “The Great russian easter.” it was to be a musical evocation of easter, the most joyous of christian holidays, as it was celebrated in russia, and rimsky built the music on liturgical chants and melodies from the orthodox church. But he identified another element with such celebrations—a strong streak of the pagan—and he described his intentions: “This legendary and heathen side of the holiday, this transition from the gloomy and mysterious evening of Passion Saturday to the unbridled pagan-religious merry-making on the morning of easter Sunday, is what i was eager to reproduce in my overture.” The result, which he completed during the summer of 1888 as he was finishing the orchestration of Scheherezade, is the piece we know today as the Russian Easter Festival Overture. From the obikhod, a collection of canticles of the orthodox church, rimsky drew the themes of “Let God Arise!,” “An Angel Wailed,” “christ is risen,” and others. But his own work does not “develop” those themes in the traditional sense so much as it constantly repeats them, and the music takes its variety (and its progress) from the reappearance of these themes at different speeds and in different instrumental colors and moods. The result has been called a “mosaic,” but it is a mosaic assembled of the most brilliant bits of color. rimsky writes for large orchestra, but he then uses it with discrimination—the music alternates delicate instrumental cadenzas with the most rousing tutti passages as the old liturgical chants roar out with an unexpected power. The result is an orchestral showpiece that may have its roots in liturgical music but which approaches the pagan in its sensual energy. rimsky, who said that a full of appreciation of this music demanded that a hearer have attended a russian easter service “in a cathedral thronged with people from every walk of life,” prefaced the score with quotations from Psalms and Mark. He dedicated the music to the memory of his friends Mussorgsky

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