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Style: Folsom | El Dorado Hills

Folsom Symphony's Rejuvenation Concert March 28

Mar 14, 2015 08:03AM ● Published by Brenna McGowan

Celebrate the return of spring with a spirited concert by the Folsom Symphony!

On March 28, as the season has barely begun, the orchestra presents Rejuvenation, an evening of inspiring works that evoke new possibilities and rebirth. Guest artist for this performance is Sacramento violinist Igor Veligan, the concertmaster for the San Francisco Choral Society Orchestra and the Pacific Chamber Symphony.

The evening opens with Aaron Copland’s "Appalachian Spring," a ballet score that won its composer a Pulitzer Prize in 1945. Praised as having brilliantly captured the beauty of the East Coast mountain range returning to new life, Copland in fact did not know the theme when he wrote the piece. The title and setting, so perfectly expressed by the music, were determined after the score was completed.

The ballet tells a story of American pioneers in 19th century Pennsylvania welcoming spring after building a new farmhouse. The piece was an immediate hit when it opened at the Library of Congress on Oct. 30, 1944. The work has been acclaimed as Copland’s greatest composition 

In the Violin Concerto Sampler Suite, Veligan will perform as guest soloist for a selection of three of classical music’s loveliest violin concertos: the first movements of Antonio Vivaldi’s "Spring Concerto" from The Four Seasons, Wolfgang Mozart’s 5th concerto, and Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole.

The Four Seasons, first published in 1725, is a set of 12 violin concertos, each depicting aspects of a season of the year. The first movement of the "Spring Concerto" is a sprightly tune representing the traditional earmarks of returning spring: joyful birds, murmuring brooks, gentle breezes. That we enjoy so many violin concertos in classical music today is in part thanks to Vivaldi. Until Vivaldi, a master violinist himself, the instrument was primarily played in ensemble; he is credited with helping define the concerto form.

Mozart wrote his 5th and last violin concerto, nicknamed the Turkish, as a court musician in Salzburg. The piece premiered during the 1775 holiday season, when the composer was 19. Like the standard first movements of concertos, this one is lively with an elegant balance between the soloist and the orchestra.

Symphonie espagnole, written in 1874 and premiered in Paris in 1875, is Lalo’s most celebrated work, so much so that in classical circles it is known simply as "The Lalo." Though its title is "Spanish Symphony," it is a violin concerto, written when Spanish-themed music was popular and containing Spanish motifs throughout.

The evening's final piece is Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, based on Russian folk tales of a magical glowing bird that can be both blessing and curse to its owner. The composer's breakthrough composition, it was praised by both the public and critics when it premiered in 1910. The story follows the journey of a Russian prince, who must get past an evil magician to win the heart of his princess, which he does with the help of the Firebird. The music incorporates Russian folk tunes and includes an especially stirring wedding march at the close.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Harris Center/Three Stages theater. Buy tickets at the Folsom Symphony website,, by calling 916-608-6888 or by visiting the ticket office on the Folsom Lake College campus. For more information on the Folsom Symphony, call 916-357-6718.

Post information courtesy of the Folsom Symphony.

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