Berlioz: Harold in Italy (Charles Hogue, viola)
Bizet: Carmen Suites 1 & 2 (selections)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol
Composers have long been fascinated by the sea and sun of Spain and Italy, two great jewels of the western Mediterranean. Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, a symphony with solo viola, was commissioned by Paganini and inspired by Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Set in Seville, Carmen became the most successful French opera of the late nineteenth century, adored for the atmospheric dances which Bizet later extracted for orchestra. Even Rimsky-Korsakov, a master of the Russian school, succumbed to the charms of Iberia in his Capriccio espagnol, rooted in authentic Spanish folk melodies.