Columbia orchestra performs Spanish Spring Concert

The concert will take place in three parts.

By Chelsea Bengier | April 22, 2011

Tags: Concerts Music

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As college students line the street outside The Blue Note to hear the sounds of a rock band inside this weekend, a few blocks away at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, the audience will be transported into a whole different era of harmony and elegance. Home of the Columbia Civic Orchestra, the MTCA showcases a large spectrum of classical instrumentals.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, The Columbia Civic Orchestra will present A Spanish Spring Concert. A Spanish Spring Concert introduces the Spanish culture through an evening of compositions, including "Capriccio Espagnol," "Fantasia para un Gentilhombre" and "The Three-Cornered Hat."

“All the color, all the rhythm and excitement before the audience’s eyes is what makes these concerts so special,” Conductor Stefan Freund said. "Especially in this day and age where people aren’t that exposed to it like they were in the past.”

The first performance of the night, conducted by Ned Horner, will be Rimsky-Korsakov’s energetic showpiece "Capriccio Espagnol." Although Rimsky-Korsakov is a Russian composer, he based "Capriccio Espagnol" off of Spanish folk dances.

“We wanted to include pieces that would compliment each other and still keep the Spanish theme,” Freund said. “('Capriccio Espagnol') was the starting point of the program.”

After "Capriccio Espagnol," the orchestra will change tune and allow classical guitarist Anthony Glise to take center stage. Glise is scheduled to perform "Fantasia para un Gentilhombre" by Joaquín Rodrigo. The main melodies of this piece originated from a Baroque composer and blind priest in the early 1700s, Gaspar Sanz. Sanz wrote one of his first guitar methods in Spain. Inspired by Sanz’s accomplishments, Rodrigo radically changed and rewrote the melodies to incorporate an orchestra and solo guitar. These alterations ultimately resulted in the formation of an extraordinary concerto.

“An orchestra is an entire universe of different sounds,” Glise said. “It’s not like anything you’ve ever heard.”

Once the softness and beauty of "Fantasia" comes to a close, Manuel de Falla’s "Three-Cornered Hat" will aim to awaken the audience with its dramatic intensity. Rhythm and meter characterize the Spanish dance forms represented in the music. "The Three-Cornered Hat" is associated with sexuality and violence as the ballet is based on the love triangle between a young couple and an old governor.

“De Falla is sensuous and sexy,” Freund said. “The music is very expressive.”

All three of these acts make up a montage of Spanish-influenced numbers. A Spanish Spring Concert is a patch of musical culture sewn into Columbia’s unique and colorful communal quilt.

“Imagine sitting in front of an orchestra and being blown away with some of the most beautiful music ever written,” Glise said. “If you’ve never been to an orchestra performance, this is one you really should be sure to catch.”

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