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UW-Eau Claire Symphony Orchestra
to Perform Free Concert at Middleton School

RELEASED: Oct. 27, 2006

UW-Eau Claire Symphony Orchestra performersEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Symphony Orchestra, directed by Nobuyoshi Yasuda, will perform a free autumn concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, in the Performing Arts Center of Middleton High School. The group and its members are performing numerous afternoon concerts in high schools in the Madison area to encourage high school musicians from those areas to apply to the music program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. This will be their only evening concert and is open to the general public.

The concert will begin with "Procession of the Nobles" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The opening brass fanfare announces the entry of the nobility in this cortege from the opera "Mlada"; the woodwinds provide the regal flourishes that embellish this work. Based on a text from Slavic mythology, set on the coast of the Baltic Sea, and arranged for an enlarged orchestra, this opera was the first of Rimsky-Korsakov's works to show the influence of Richard Wagner, who affected so many composers of the time. Although the opera was a failure, this symphonic offering has been enjoyed by audiences since its first introduction.

The concert will continue with Jurij Abramovitsj Levitin's Concerto for Clarinet, Bassoon and Orchestra, Op.34, featuring UW-Eau Claire professors of music Dr. Richard Fletcher, on clarinet, and Dr. Kristine Fletcher, on bassoon. The concerto is orchestrated for four woodwinds, three horns, three trumpets, trombone, percussion, harp and strings. Levitin studied piano with Samary Savshinsky and composition with Dmitri Shostakovich at the Leningrad Conservatory. A member of the Composers' Union since 1940 and the Communist Party since 1947, he was designated "People's Artist of the USSR" in 1980. A musical traditionalist, Levitin followed the lead of his famous teacher in writing music which was essentially tonal and economical of gesture, often featuring steady, march-like rhythms balanced with contemplative moments and melancholy, lyrical melodies.

The concert will conclude with the highlight performance of Piotr Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op.64. Although Tchaikovsky's music is often denigrated as bourgeois, sentimental and emotionally theatrical, this judgment is at odds with the enormous popularity the music enjoys.

The Symphony Orchestra will perform this same program in Eau Claire on Sunday, Nov. 12 at UW-Eau Claire's Haas Fine Arts Center.

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AB/NW

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