The Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association, under the direction of Bruce Briney, opens their 69th concert season at 3 pm Sunday, Oct. 9 at Quincy Junior High School with RUSSIAN EXHIBITION. The performance includes music from two great Russian composers, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Modest Mussorgsky, both using music to evoke the imagery of their settings.
Rimsky-Korsakov presents a sparkling orchestral painting of Spain with “Capriccio Espagnol.” The piece’s passionate tunes and brilliant colors have made it a concert favorite. Like the intoxicating Spanish melodies and locales it was inspired by, the suite is bursting with orchestral imagination and beauty. “Capriccio Espagnol” premiered in St. Petersburg on Oct. 31, 1887 to huge success. The audience exploded with applause, and wanted the orchestra to play it again all the way through.
“Prelude to Khovanshchina: Dawn Over the Moscow River” is an opera by Mussorgsky based on historical sources. The opera recalls the Moscow Uprising of 1682 and the Khovansky affair a few months later, and profiles the struggle between political factions. The opera was incomplete at Mussorgsky’s death but revised by first Rimsky-Korsakov, and later, Dmitri Shostakovich.
Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” was created to perpetuate the memory of his friend, artist Victor Hartmann. In the process, he created a work far more grand and lasting than his subject.
When Hartmann, aged 39, died in 1874 Mussorgsky was devastated. The following year at a showing of 400 Hartmann works, the composer was inspired and quickly wrote the suite, “Pictures at an Exhibition.” These 10 pieces each represent one of the drawings or artworks on display and range from simple to grandiose. The suite opens with a brilliant “promenade,” a theme that reemerges throughout, cleverly suggesting the gait of an art-lover strolling through a museum.
During the performance of “Pictures at an Exhibition” area artists Karl Warma and Steven Stoll will be creating art in full view of the audience. The works created will be for sale after the concert, with proceeds going to the QSOA, the Quincy Art Center and the showcasing artists. There will also be an art show in the wings of the lobby before and during the concert with many works on display and for sale.
Tickets for Russian Exhibition will be available at the door or in advance at Quincy Hy-Vee stores, Sturhahn Jewelers or the symphony office, 200 N. 8th. Individual concert tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for senior citizens. Children 18 and under are encouraged to attend with their families, and will be admitted free thanks, in part, to grants from the Tracy Family Foundation and the Community Foundation.
Season tickets offer a great savings over single ticket prices. Season tickets are available now, and include 10 QSOA events at $70 for adults or $60 for seniors. A special promotional offer allows new season ticket holders to get two season tickets for the price of one if the order is received by October 9.
The QSOA is very grateful for support from the corporate community. The Silver Baton Concert Sponsor for Russian Exhibition is the Quincy Herald-Whig with WGEM. Investment Planners, Inc. is the Music Sponsor. All QSOA concerts are supported by Golden Baton Season Sponsors Knapheide Manufacturing and Blessing Health System. Partial support has been received from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Call 217-222-2856 or visit www.qsoa.org for more information on the music and performers, including program notes and biographies.