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It's symphony season

writing a set of Variations on a Theme by Corelli and then the infamous Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43.

Rachmaninov identified with Paganini on many levels; as the greatest performer of their generation, as exiles from their native lands and as artists driven by their emotions and artistry. Legend says that Paganini was bound by a pact with the Devil and Rachmaninov with Death itself. Incorporating the Dies Irae plainchant, Symbolic of Death, in different forms throughout his career, it appears clearly for the first time in Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, interwoven among the 24 variations. Rhapsody was swiftly recognized as one of the most brilliantly written piano concertos of the century.

Guest Conductor Margaret St. Clair will open the evening with Thunder and Lightning Polka by Johann Strauss. A lover of classical music, Mrs. St. Clair has attended symphony performances from New York to San Francisco. She won the guest conducting position at the Rogue Valley Symphony's Vienna Ball last year and says, "I am looking forward to this great adventure and have wanted to conduct an orchestra all my life". Thunder and Lightning Polka was published in 1868. A lively dance, the piece evokes the sounds of thunder and lightning through timpani rolls and cymbal crashes amid the background patterns of wind and rain.

Johannes Brahms' Tragic Overture, Op. 81 is the dramatic counterpart to the festive Academic Festival Overture. Both composed in the summer of 1880, the pieces were intended to compliment each other. As Brahms said, "One weeps, the other laughs". Different from any overture, it is composed in an expanded sonata form, with three main subjects. Strong and dramatic, Tragic Overture is extraordinary.

Nikolai Rimski-Korsokov as an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy was a well traveled composer of his generation. Visiting Britain, New York, Rio de Janeiro and Cadiz gave him the true experience of different cultures which he then incorporated into his compositions. In his autobiography he wrote, "The Spanish themes, of dance character, furnished me with rich material for employing colourful orchestral effects"; and Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34 emerged. Considered the master of orchestral color, his original idea was a Fantasy on Spanish Themes for violin and orchestra, but Rimsky soon concluded that his composition would be more effective as a purely orchestral work. Exuberant, festive, tender and spirited describe this magical portrait of Spain.

As formal dance becomes ever more popular in the United States, we are sure to see many performances to Ravel's Bolero. Commissioned by Ida Robinstein during the "roaring 20s" for a dance gala at the Paris Opera in 1928 this sizzling composition along with dance moves from the late 1700's has turned heads on the dance floor for close to a century. One of Ravel's most popular scores, it is both feminine and macho intertwined into a brilliant orchestration of emotion.

To enrich your concert experience, plan to attend the pre-concert talk led by Pat Daly, one hour before each performance. For details on this performance and upcoming events, please visit our website at .

Call the Rogue Valley Symphony Box Office at (541) 552-6398 to reserve your seat. Take advantage of our 50% off for first time five concert subscribers.

Ticket Information

Ashland = $44 premium, $36 general reserved, and $5 student.

Medford - $38 premium, $30 general reserved, and $5 student.

Grants Pass - $35 premium, $27 general reserved, and $5 student.

A limited number of $10 economy seats are available in Medford and Grants Pass.