Stirling Trent, violinist
Jesús Medinda, guest conductor
Symphony Arlington will perform Turina's Sinfonia Sevilliana, Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni and many more! This performance will feature violinist, Stirling Trent performing Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole. The orchestra will be led by guest conductor, Maestro Jesús Medina!
Mozart: Overture to Don Giovanni
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) completed Don Giovanni in 1787, and the opera was premiered in Prague on October 29, 1787. Don Giovanni is one of the three operas that resulted from Mozart’s collaboration with the great librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (the other two operas being Le nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan tutte). Mozart himself called his opera dramma giocoso, literally “merry drama”, and here in the overture we can see how drama and comedy shift as quickly and as unpredictably as only Mozart could do. It is a well known fact that it took only one day for Mozart to complete the overture to the opera.
The score was completed on October 28 of the same year after Da Ponte was recalled to Vienna to work on another opera. Reports about the last-minute completion of the overture conflict; some say it was completed the day before the premiere, some on the very day. More likely it was completed the day before, in light of the fact that Mozart recorded the completion of the opera on 28 October. The score calls for double woodwinds, horns and trumpets, timpani, basso continuo for the recitatives, and the usual strings. The composer also specified occasional special musical effects. For the ballroom scene at the end of the first act, Mozart calls for no fewer than three onstage ensembles to play separate dance music in synchronization, each in their respective meter, accompanying the dancing of the principal characters. In Act II, Giovanni is seen to play the mandolin, accompanied by pizzicato strings. When the statue of the Commendatore speaks for the first time later in the act, Mozart adds three trombones to the accompaniment.
A staple of the standard operatic repertoire, Don Giovanni is currently tenth on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide.
Turina: Sinfonia Sevilliana
Along with Manuel de Falla, Emmanuel Chabrier and Isaac Albéniz, Turina composed music that evokes the exotic Iberian musical heritage but with an unmistakable French accent à la Debussy and Ravel. As many composers had done before him, he studied medicine in deference to his family’s wishes before the pull of music led him to abandon the science of medicine in favor of the science and art of music. He established himself as both composer and pianist while still in adolescence, eventually moved to Paris to study piano with Moritz Moszkowski and composition with Vincent D’Indy at the Schola Cantorum. The exoticism and genius of Debussy proved irresistible, as did the valued mentoring by Albéniz. Given his keyboard-oriented background, it is no surprise that much of his oeuvre resides there, though he was not immune to the draw of the guitar.
Along with de Falla, he returned to Madrid in 1914, working as a composer, teacher and critic. In 1931 he was made professor of composition at the Madrid Royal Conservatory. He died in Madrid. Among his notable pupils were Vicente Asencio and Celedonio Romero.
Composed specifically for the guitar, Sevillana, where the atmosphere is clearly and strictly Spanish, from fanning Flamenco-inspired chords, to rapid single-note-at-a-time runs. In general, Turina’s guitar works evoke the indigenous flamenco style, with its variety of distinctive rhythms and assertive tonal palette.
Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole
Édouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole (January 1823 – 22 April 1892) is one of the favorite large-scale violin works of the Romantic era. Its colorful Spanish quality and flowing, attractive melodies, along with its copious display of violin tricks, have kept it before a public that has largely forgotten the other works of its composer.
Stimulated by Pablo de Sarasate's playing of his First Violin Concerto in 1874, Lalo decided to write another concerto, this time paying tribute to Sarasate's Spanish nationality and his own Spanish descent. It is likely that Sarasate collaborated with Lalo in the details of the violin part, for it features the singing line and effervescent arpeggio and scale work that was a trademark of his playing and which are featured in Sarasate's own recital music. Sarasate played it for the first time in Paris on February 7, 1875. It immediately pleased the audience, and happened to hit in the middle of a vogue for Spanish music recently touched off by Bizet's opera Carmen.
The first movement, Allegro non troppo, opens with a full-orchestra statement of a theme that stresses a typical 2/4 + 6/8 Spanish rhythm. The violin then states a main theme in triplets. The soloist also introduces a second subject, which is the main material for the development, where it acquires the triplets of the other subject. The coda has a brief development of the first subject.
The second movement, Scherzando; Allegro molto, is a sparkling fast Spanish waltz, which follows an introduction featuring bright pizzicato writing for the orchestral strings. The outer portions of the three-part form are in the Spanish rhythm called the seguidilla. The middle part of this movement is rhapsodic, with frequent shifts of tempo.
Lalo made the symphony a five-movement work by adding an Intermezzo as the third movement after the premiere. It is, in effect, a second scherzo, though in a slower tempo. It has a nice use of the contrast between minor and major modes. For many years many violinists adopted the practice of omitting this movement.
The true slow movement is the sultry and romantic fourth movement, Andante, with a dark and soulful mood.
The finale movement is a rondo whose main subject sets off a series of dazzling episodes. Lalo begins the movement with a nice trick to raise anticipation: he repeats an accompaniment many times until the violin inserts the theme. After that the movement continues in dance-like mode until the brilliant conclusion.