Midsummer Night’s Passion
演出时间Date & Time︱2017.6.24（周六/SAT）19:30
演出地点Venue︱苏州文化艺术中心大剧院 SCAC Grand Theatre
指挥 Conductor |陈燮阳 CHENXieyang
钢琴Piano | 张乐 ZHANGYue
曲目 | Program
GLINKA Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture
GRIEG Piano Concerto in A minor
BIZET Carmen Suite No. 1
BIZET Carmen Suite No. 2
The 19th Century ushered in artistic tendencies and musical movements in an unprecedented rapid and rich way, particularly the musical nationalism and the fascination with exotic settings. On this midsummer evening, the SZSO presents a program that weaves a tapestry of fairy-tale romance, fervent folklore and fiery passion into a musical journey traversingthe Russian plain from distant medieval times, atmospheric Scandinavia and mystic Andalusia. Characters such as the sultry Gypsy seductress Carmen, ladies’ idol the Toreador, or the chivalrous knight Ruslan and Ludmila the ‘damsel in distress’ will congregate in this musical feast of a midsummer night.
Based on Pushkin’s epic poem of the same name which tells about the abduction of Princess Ludmila [of Kiev] by an evil wizard and her rescue by the brave knight Ruslan, Glinka’s opera is considered the fountainhead of Russian operatic tradition, and his fusion of Russian musical elements with European mainstream practices has forecast Russian musical nationalism which was later solidified by “The Mighty Handful”, aka “The Five” – a group of Russian composers headed by Rimsky-Korsakov. Love, chivalry and fairy-tale ending prove to be formula for a satisfying theatrical experience and help guarantee box-office success The opera has been a mainstay at the Bolshoi Theatre where it was commissioned and premiered, having given more than 700 performances in 9 productions over its 165 year history. The overture has also claimed a place in the orchestra concert repertoire, introducing exotic Eastern sounds.
Undoubtedly the most famous work of his entire output, Grieg’s only piano concerto is often compared with Robert Schumann’s piano concerto, which he’d heard performed by Clara Schumann in Leipzig when he was 14 and studying piano with Schumann’s friend Wenzel; both are in A minor, have the piano immediately start before any thematic exposition by the orchestra, and feature cascading figurations in the opening measures precipitating into a torrent of passionate notes. Elements of Norwegian folk art permeate throughout the concerto and are used with convincing eloquence; the descending interval characteristic of Norwegian folk music dominates the opening of the first movement,while the theme in the third movement offers hints of Norwegian folk dance and the Norwegian folk fiddle. Grieg gracefully blends his interest in his native land’s musical traditions with the credo of Romanticism. Along with Schumann’s concerto, the Grieg piano concerto has remained one of the most popular concertos in piano repertoire.
Carmen is easily the most identifiable and fascinating female character,and the music from Bizet’s opera Carmen easily the most recognizable in the entire operatic history.Seville, the city in which the plot of Carmen unfolds has also provided a colorful setting for many dramatic works in theater history. It seems that many composers, playwrights, novelists and artists shared a gripping attraction to Seville, and Bizet was no exception.Like many composers attempting to imitate Spanish flavors in their music, Bizet used what he thought were Spanish elements in order to tell the love story between a Gypsy and a soldier – a story in which themes like unbridled freedom, love at any cost, fickle desires, and fatal jealousy combine to make this opera an enduring box-office hit. He has literally given a pictorial account of Seville and the Gypsy ways through the tremendously melodies he has composed in his opera. Practically all of the music of the heroine, Carmen, are in some kind of dance form: Hanabera, Seguidilla, or the Chanson bohèmienne (Gypsy Song) which imitates the flamenco. With the famous Toreador Song Bizet brings to life the uproar and bloody excitement in the bullring. Spaniards probably doubt the authenticity of Bizet’s imagined Spain, but arguablythe opera Carmen has become a sort of cultural postcard for the splendor under the Andalusian hills. The two Carmen Suites were compiled by Guiraud per Bizet’s instructions and offer a perfect portal to experience this sensuous drama.