Admired for his authentic and original voice, the British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams created soundscapes which seem to emerge right from the mists of the English countryside. Tonight we enjoy the stunningly beautiful Tallis Fantasia for strings as well as his powerful but little-heard Toward the Unknown Region, for chorus and orchestra – alongside music from Hungarian composer Miklós Rózsa, and the premiere of a new work for children’s voices and orchestra by Music Director & Conductor Gregory Vajda.
Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Vajda All Things Come Alike to All
Rózsa Theme, Variations, and Finale
Vaughan Williams Toward the Unknown Region
Huntsville Community Chorus
We end this season’s Classical Series with a program of firsts. Performed by Gilles Vonsattel, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was penned when the pianist-composer was only a teenager, long before the more often played Second and Third concertos, and is based loosely on the great concerto by Grieg. Few debuts have made quite the impression given by Mahler’s ambitious Symphony No. 1, sometimes called the “Titan,” which despite many later successes became the original work most frequently conducted by the composer throughout his career.
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 1
Gilles Vonsattel, piano
Mahler Symphony No. 1, “Titan”
The “Italian” Symphony No. 4 of Felix Mendelssohn is among the most celebrated of his compositions, catalyzed by his enchantment with the peninsula during a European tour. The HSO also performs his overture Die schöne Melusine, based on the legend of a forlorn mermaid. Soloist Gábor Varga joins the orchestra for Mozart’s timeless Clarinet Concerto, a lyrical masterpiece and one of the great composer’s final completed works.
Mendelssohn Die schöne Melusine Overture
Mozart Clarinet Concerto
Gábor Varga, clarinet
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4, “Italian”
Spice up the spooky season with the HSO and the accomplished rock musicians of Jeans ‘n Classics as we perform songs from the original cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. From “Dammit Janet” to “Wild and Untamed Thing,” feel free to croon along with your favorite numbers from Jim Sharman’s freaky ‘70s comedy – it’s the ultimate midnight movie and a scary good time.
Acclaimed for their command of jazz vernacular and the African-American gospel tradition alike, vocalist Sydney McSweeney and singer/trumpeter Byron Stripling present a swinging evening of classic standards and vibrant spirituals in The Gospel According to Gershwin. It’s sure to be an unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebration and a heartfelt tribute to some of the finest American music, reaching way down to the roots.
Yes, May 4 is “International Star Wars Day,” and of course the Huntsville Symphony intends to make an Imperially big deal about it. Few musicians in this galaxy (or any other) have impacted the art of cinema more than the great John Williams, whose insightfully crafted scores have enthralled audiences for more than seventy years now. This program celebrates the Movie Maestro’s life and legacy, along with classic selections by fellow film composers including Leonard Bernstein.
Mussorgsky, Saint-Saëns, and John Williams provide the orchestral soundtrack to this one-of-a-kind stage performance by the legendary illusionist Michael Grandinetti. Renowned for his appearances on network television, in NFL and NBA half-time shows, and in stadiums, arenas, casinos, and theatres around the country, Grandinetti never fails to astonish with his mastery of the arcane arts – and he loves to make his audiences part of the magic. Musical selections include Night on Bald Mountain, Danse macabre, and symphonic hocus-pocus courtesy of Harry Potter.
Walton Façade (selections)
H. K. Gruber Frankenstein!! (Mr. Superman)