On Opening Night of the 2019-2020 Season, the musicians invite the audience to visualize the music as we listen. In Luster, rising star Jared Miller gives us what he calls the “shiny, bejeweled colors and timbres” of 90s disco music for an orchestra rather than a nightclub. Some may think of birds in flight listening to the repeating, soaring sounds, especially in the strings. Others may feel they could pluck the shimmering notes from the air.
The strings then take us into the nursery with the softer, sweeter sounds of George Gershwin’s Lullaby. Here, they give us a quietly repeating theme, and as we listen, it is easy to see a mother rocking her baby’s cradle. But don’t nod off! We are about to be treated to Gershwin’s iconic An American in Paris, a jazz influenced symphonic tone poem written in 1928 and later adopted for a very popular film in 1951. One can easily see Gene Kelly dancing his way through Paris as the music reflects the impressions of an American as he strolls the streets and absorbs the atmosphere. Gershwin called it a “rhapsodic ballet.”
Following intermission, there will be two lovely and charming pieces by Maurice Ravel. La Valse, a choreographic poem for orchestra, takes us into the castle ballroom where dancers waltz and whirl, shutting the doors on the outside world. Ravel’s whimsical Mother Goose Suite is an orchestral ballet that opens with a slow, precise dance evocative of a princess sleeping in a wood, before moving on to the adventures of Little Tom Thumb, and the Little Ugly Girl, and the charming waltz of Beauty and the Beast. The Suite closes with a sweeping, powerful melody in the strings giving us the magical happy ending of The Fairy Garden.
Opening Night of the 2019-2020 Season will fully engage the audience!