The Muskegon Area Honors Orchestra, as part of Muskegon Community College’s Downtown Live Concert Series, performs its “Music of the Russian Composers” concert on Sunday, November 17, at 3 p.m. in the Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Ave.
Tickets, which are $10 for adults and $2 for student and children, may be purchased at the Frauenthal Center Box Office or online at https://startickets.com/events/item/mcc-downtown-live-mcc-honors-orchestra.
Directed by Philip David DeYoung, the orchestra will perform:
- “Ruslan and Ludmila Overture” by Mikhail Glinka
“Ruslan and Ludmila” is an opera in five acts composed by Mikhail Glinka between 1837 and 1842. The opera is based on the 1820 poem of the same name by Aleksandr Pushkin.
- “Finnish Sketches, op. 89” by Alexander Glazunov
Glazunov was attracted late in his career to the people and legends of Karelia in eastern Finland, a Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire but possessing considerable self-rule. The Kalevala is a national epic poem of Finland, written in the 19th century and based on old oral traditions. A traditional eight-syllable melody was used to sing the Finnish poem and is the basis of the first part of the composition. The second movement is also based on a simple theme, although it is interrupted for a quotation of the Lutheran hymn “A Mighty Fortress.”
- “Elegy for String Orchestra” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky’s Elegy in G major, originally entitled “A Grateful Greeting,” was written in November 1884 for the 50th jubilee celebration of the veteran actor Ivan Samarin.
- “Salvation is Created, op.25, no.5” by Pavel Chesnokov, arr. DeYoung
Chesnokov was a prolific Imperial Russian and Soviet composer of more than 400 sacred works, the most notable being “Salvation is Created.” Published in 1913, the work was inspired by Psalm 74.
- “Symphony No. 1 in D Major, op.25” by Sergei Prokofiev, III. Gavotte
The 1918 work is written in loose imitation of the style of Haydn and is widely known as the Classical Symphony, a name given to it by the composer. One of the first neoclassical compositions, it has become one of Prokofiev’s most popular works.
- “Chanson triste in G minor” by Vasily Kalinnikov
Kalinnikov was a Russian composer who imbued his works with characteristics of folksong. “Chanson triste in G minor” was written for piano in 1893.
- “Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky arr. Rimsky-Korsakov
The works is a series of compositions by Mussorgsky and inspired by Russian literary works and legend. The composer created a musical picture in 1867 of a witches’ sabbath occurring on St. John’s Eve (June 23). In 1886, five years after Mussorgsky’s death, Rimsky-Korsakov published an arrangement of the work, described as a “fantasy for orchestra,” that achieved lasting fame. Leopold Stokowski’s version was used in Walt Disney’s animated 1940 film “Fantasia.”
The Muskegon Area Honors Orchestra is comprised of students from area high schools, homeschooled students, and Muskegon Community College students. The orchestra provides these young individuals with performance and musical experiences that go above and beyond that of their regular high school or youth orchestra settings. Participating students have the opportunity of earning college credit during their time with the ensemble and receive regular instruction from exemplary section coaches. They are exposed to literature carefully selected from the standard orchestral repertoire, as well as challenging new works.
For more information, contact the MCC Arts and Humanities Office at (231) 777-0324.