Power Mac Center Spotlight
Brian Howrey, saxophone
Manila Symphony Orchestra
Arturo Molina, conductor
Dance of the Persian Slaves from Khovanshchina
Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 109
Spartacus Ballet Suite No. 2
In the Steppes of Central Asia
Polovetsian Dances from Prince Igor
A slew of Russian music and the latter third of Beethoven’s immortal symphonies highlight the Manila Symphony Orchestra’s 2016-2017 Concert Season. The new season, billed as 90 in celebration of the orchestra being 90 Years Young, starts with the inaugural concert, entitled Russian Romanticism, happening on June 4, 2016, 8:00 PM at the MSO’s new gala concert venue: the Power Mac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati.
Led by the MSO’s principal conductor and music director Arturo Molina, the concert will feature music by Russian composers namely Modest Mussorgsky, Alexander Glazunov, Aram Khachaturian, and Alexander Borodin.
American saxophonist Brian Howrey joins the MSO this evening in a rare performance of Glazunov’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 109. The saxophone, invented back in 1840 by Adolphe Sax wasn’t utilized as an instrument in symphonic works during the Romantic era. It was only during the early 20th century that the instrument started to find its way in works that are now part of the standard orchestral repertoire. Most people nowadays would typically associate the saxophone with jazz music or with marching bands rather than classical music. This is what makes the Glazunov concerto truly interesting because it is deeply rooted in Russian romanticism and there’s nothing jazzy in it despite being composed in 1934, a time when jazz music was already in full swing.
The rest of the music during this concert, Mussorgsky’s Dance of the Persian Slaves from Khovanshchina, Khachaturian’s Spartacus Ballet Suite No. 2, and Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia and Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor highlight another aspect of the Romantic era which is Exoticism. Composers at the time made music that depicted the music of faraway places, taking the listener to exotic realms. The combination of unforgettable and exotic melodies, along with crafty orchestration helped cement these works and their respective composers to be among the pillars of Russian Romanticism.
The Manila Symphony Orchestra’s remaining Season Gala Concerts will feature more music by Russian composers like Dmitri Shostakovich and Igor Stravinsky. The last three symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven will also be performed in each of the remaining concerts with the monumental 9th Symphony with soloists, choir, and all at the season finale.
Carlos Garchitorena 523-5712, (0917) 861-2275, firstname.lastname@example.org