The next Houston Symphony Broadcast takes us to far away places with guest conductor Andrey Boreyko and percussion soloist Colin Currie. We'll take to the sea with Wagner, follow Alberich the dwarf with Rouse, and enjoy Russian dances and even a folk tune with Tchaikovsky!
The tale of the Flying Dutchman is an old legend of the sea, spelling doom for sailors who might witness its ghastly sails. This formed the inspiration for Richard Wagner's opera of the same name, and the tumultuous power of the sea is evoked by the vivid colors of the orchestra in its overture.
Wagner is perhaps best known for his foray into Norse mythology with his famous Ring Cycle, and the dwarf Alberich is a pivotal character in the drama as one of the main antagonists. Thus, the character became a muse to composer Christopher Rouse as he composed something of a percussion concerto in his Der Gerettete Alberich (Alberich Saved): Fantasy for Percussion and Orchestra that adopts some of the motives from Wagner's cycle related to the character, though he emphasizes that the work is not strictly programmatic.
Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony is among his best known orchestral works, and like Beethoven's Fifth, a "fate" motif proves to be an important structural feature that appears in the first movement and makes a dramatic return in the end of the fourth. The final movement also makes use of a Russian folk song, "In the Field Stood a Birch Tree."
Tune in for this concert Sunday (10/30) on News 88.7 or Wednesday (11/2) on Houston Public Media Classical at 8 PM.