Isle of the Dead
Sunday, October 14, 2018 - 3 PM (2:15 Pre-concert talk)
Simley Theater of Performing Arts
2920 80th St E, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
Ho-Yin Kwok, conductor
Hisham Bravo Groover, guest conductor
William LaRue Jones and Ye Yu, bassoons
Mendelssohn: The Hebrides
Dietter: Concerto for Two Bassoons
Rachmaninoff: The Isle of the Dead
Barber: Medea's Dance of Vengeance
From the very first bars of Sergi Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead, you can feel the boat rocking, as it's rowed through the gloom toward a stand of dark cypress trees on the silent island. Arnold Böcklin's painting Isle of the Dead (seen here in a black-and-white version) inspired Rachmaninoff's composition. Whoever chose Swan Lake for the opening credits of the 1931 Bela Lugosi Dracula had obviously never heard this piece!
Our "Isle of the Dead" concert will open with more drama and water, with Felix Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture. And it will end, naturally, with death —actually, a lot of violence and then death—in Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance by Samuel Barber. Barber, our featured American composer on this program, might have been musically illustrating a story from Greece, Medea, but he himself was born in West Chester, PA.
In concert with MVO on October 14 will be William LaRue Jones, the former principal bassoon of the Minnesota Opera and Minnesota Ballet and the founder of GTCYS (Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies) and Ye Yu. John Miller will not join us this concert due to unforeseen circumstances.
Listen to a wonderfully vintage 1929 recording of Sergei Rachmaninoff himself conducting Isle of the Dead with the Philadelphia Orchestra for the Victor Talking Machine Company.