Clarion University Symphony Orchestra Presents ‘A Tour of Italy’ Concert Today

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The Clarion University Symphony Orchestra will present a concert on Sunday, May 7, at 3:00 p.m. in the Marwick-Boyd Auditorium. 

The concert is free and open to the public.

Under the direction of Dr. Casey C. Teske, the theme of the concert is “A Tour of Italy” which presents various compositions from 19th century Italian composers.

The symphony orchestra is joined by special guest artist The Stellare String Quartet which is a professional group consisting of players from the Youngstown, Ohio area.   The members of this exciting young group are:  Jerry Koziorynsky – violin; Rachel Aiken – viola; Susan Brenneis-Fisher – violin; and Robin Hasenpflug – cello.

The concert opens with Respighi’s “Pines of the Appian Way” from The Pines of Rome.  The piece demonstrates the composer’s skill in colorful orchestration utilizing triumphant brass as a Roman army marches with unending footsteps to the capital for a victory celebration.

The next piece, Light Cavalry Overture by Franz von Suppé’s, is from a two-act operetta of the same name.   The opening majestic fanfare leads to his most famous “cavalry” music followed by a dark expressive Hungarian passage returning to the original “cavalry” music.

“Triumphal March” from the Opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi ends the first part of the Symphony Orchestra program.  The opera is based on a classic love triangle and the march is from the most famous scene of the opera.  A trumpet fanfare leads to the main march material representing the victorious Egyptian Army as it approaches the King’s throne.

The Stellare String Quartet will perform three pieces on their portion of the concert.  They start with Vivaldi’s  Le Quattro stagioni  (The Four Seasons – Autumn), Op. 8.  Vivaldi’s most popular work, The Four Seasons, paints a picture of the passing of a year in Italy’s Venetto. Next, they perform “Intermezzo” from Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni, which is based on a hymn by a village church.  This is followed by Puccini’s I Crisantem derives its name of an Italian flower of mourning.  The quartet will end with Rossini’s Overture to the Barber of Seville.  From the opera, this work is considered his most popular recognizable opera.

The orchestra continues the last part of the concert with “Overture” to Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi.  The opera, the third in Verdi’s career, follows the flight of the Jews as they are mistreated and eventually exiled by the Babylonian King Nabuchadnezzar.

The final piece of the concert is Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italian.  This composition is based on several folk melodies Tchaikovsky heard as he wandered Rome.  The result is a wonderful Italian portrait of loosely stringed melodies and dances.

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