Orchestras play "riot music’ | SummitDaily.com
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Orchestras play "riot music’

Kimberly Nicoletti

BRECKENRIDGE – Eminem isn’t the only musician who can start a riot. In 1913, Igor Stravinsky’s tamely named composition “The Rite of Spring” caused Parisians to riot in response to its bold dissonance and pagan rhythm.

The National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) and the Breckenridge Music Institute Orchestra (BMI) join forces to perform furious sounds such as Stravinsky’s piece at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Riverwalk Center.

“The “Rite of Spring’ is a monumental piece,” NRO Conductor Carol Topilow said. “It changed the tide of music. It added elements of furious, pagan rites from thousands of years ago. It’s quite bold in terms of using a lot of dissonance. It has a lot of pagan rhythm, a lot of repetitive themes.”

Stravinsky’s music became part of a ballet wherein Slavonic tribes gathered to celebrate spring. During the festivities, the wise elder imprinted his sacred kiss on the Earth, an act that seized the crowd with mysticism and terror. In the end, the elders offered a virgin to the god Yarilo.

Since the composition was so foreign to musicians in 1913, it took 27 rehearsals before it could be performed. This summer, it took the NRO three.

The concert also features Richard Strauss’s Suite from “Der Rosenkavalier,” which chronicles the life of the Empress of Vienna and her ordeals in love. The dramatic orchestral opening soars into slower melodies and concludes with vibrant Viennese waltzes.

“One hundred and twenty players join on the same stage,” Topilow said. “It’s an intensity that neither orchestra can do by itself.”

Giovanni Gabrielli’s “Canzona Noni Toni a 12” and the “Triumphal March” from “Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi rounds out the program. Gabrielli’s composition is an Italian Renaissance piece, carrying rich harmonies, and Verdi’s march marks the return of the soldiers in his story of love and war in Egypt.

Tickets are $17, $22 and $27 and may be purchased by calling (970) 547-3100.

Orchestra s also play ball

BRECKENRIDGE – The Breckenridge Music Institute (BMI) Orchestra is playing ball, while the National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) launches into galactic wars today.

The BMI and the NRO perform their second joint pops concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center.

After Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Concerto in A major for Piano and Orchestra,” the BMI kicks off the evening with Frank Proto’s “Casey at the Bat.”

“It’s sort of the Paul Bunyan of baseball,” BMI Conductor Gerhardt Zimmermann said. “(Casey’s) attitude is expressed as a jazz band as he struts up to the plate.”

After Casey strikes out, the BMI musicians trade in their bats for pigskin. Professor Peter Schickele’s New Horizons in Music Appreciation transforms Ludwig Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5 in C minor” into a football game.

“It’s broadcast as a sporting contest,” Zimmermann said. “There’s a penalty when the horn player makes a mistake. The violins are called for holding, and there’s unsportsmanlike conduct on the oboe. It’s just a spoof. It’s hilarious.”

Once the BMI finishes its games, the NRO ushers in the lively sounds of the Big Easy with Frank Mantooth’s “South Rampart Street Parade.” Then the musicians perform tunes from the hottest show on Broadway, “The Producers.” Afterward, Leroy Anderson’s “Clarinet Candy” and “Bugler’s Holiday” feature the clarinet.

“They’re fun, lively, upbeat virtuoso pieces,” NRO Conductor Carl Topilow said.

The evening wraps up with a journey through John Williams’ music from various “Star Wars” episodes.

“(The program is) a sort of jazz, light music and movie music,” Topilow said. “There are some fun, musical surprises.”

Tickets are $17, $22 and $27 and may be purchased by calling (970) 547-3100.


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