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Season Finale: Pictures at an Exhibition

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Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 2:30 pm
Hemmens Cultural Center

Andrew Grams, conductor
Elgin Master Chorale
Takaoki Onishi, baritone

Vaughan Williams – Serenade to Music
Mahler – Songs of a Wayfarer
Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition

The ESO closes its season with Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s towering Pictures at an Exhibition, based on drawings and watercolors by Viktor Hartmann. The suite has inspired interpretations from such diverse performers as Emerson Lake & Palmer, metal bands Mekong Delta and Armored Saint, electronic musician Amon Tobin, guitarist Trevor Rabin and even Michael Jackson, who sampled a short section on his song HIStory. As part of the ESO’s ongoing exploration of Mahler, the program also holds Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, a song cycle with lyrics written by the composer himself based on one of his favorite collections of German folk poetry. Also featured is Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, with text adapted from Act V, Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, performed with the magnificent Elgin Master Chorale.

“Rachmaninoff himself stated after attending the premiere of  Serenade to Music that it was ‘the most beautiful piece of music he’d ever heard.’  Like Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, which opened our season, Pictures at an Exhibition has a wonderful melody for the saxophone that captures the painting by Hartmann of a troubadour singing a song before an old castle.  The grandeur of The Great Gate of Kiev caps off another great season of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra!” Andrew Grams

Season Finale: Pictures at an Exhibition program notes

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