Russian Romance

February 18, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

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Celebrate romance this Valentine season with a passionate Slavic style at our Feb. 18 concert, Russian Romance. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Harris Center.

The evening’s repertoire consists of just three stunning and substantial compositions: Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture; Peter Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, featuring our guest soloist, violinist Jessica Linnebach; and Sergei Prokofiev’s Selections from Romeo and Juliet.

Shostakovich wrote the vivacious Festive Overture in 1954, a year after Josef Stalin died, to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the October revolution. The music ranges from grandiose and lyrical to playful and pompous. The piece was featured in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and at the 2009 Nobel Prize concert.

jlinnebachOne of the best known violin concertos, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major also is one of the most difficult for the solo violinist to perform. For our concert, Jessica Linnebach has exquisitely mastered the music. The piece premiered in December 1881 in Vienna, with a renowned Russian Empire violinist, Adolph Brodsky, performing the solo. You may be familiar with parts of this work. It has been incorporated into several movie scores, including The Goonies, Le Concert, The Equalizer, Mozart in the Jungle, Unfaithfully Yours and the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Canadian violinist Linnebach is associate concertmaster for Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and a founding member of the Zukerman Chamber Players. She has twice won the Canadian Music Competition Grand Prize. In 2000, she was named Canada’s most gifted musician under the age of 30.

Prokofiev originally wrote his ballet, Romeo and Juliet, based on Shakespeare’s play, with a happy ending, contrary to Shakespeare’s work. Stalin, however, disapproved, and Prokofiev was persuaded to reinstate the more tragic conclusion. The full work premiered in December 1938 in Brno in what is now the Czech Republic. A significantly revised version followed in Leningrad in January 1940. Since then, it has remained one of the most popular ballets.

Russian Romance will be performed Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m., at the Harris Center/Three Stages theater on the Folsom Lake College Campus. Buy tickets online, by calling 916-608-6888 or by visiting the theater ticket office.

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