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Exeter Symphony Orchestra - Rimsky-Korsakov, R Strauss & Tchaikovsky

The ESO under conductor Arturo Serna, with soprano soloist Lisa Moffat, Is proud to announce a concert of music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Richard Strauss and Tchaikovsky.

This year’s Spring Concert features music by three great composers of the late nineteenth century and first-half of the twentieth. The opening piece is the symphonic suite Scheherazade (Opus 35) composed by Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) in 1888. This large-scale, characteristically colourfully-orchestrated piece reveals a fascination with the Islamic cultures bordering Russia which so fired the imagination of the composer and his contemporaries. It sets to music the tale of One Thousand and One Nights in which a young sultana charms and finally softens her cruel husband simply by reading to him. The austere opening motif of the first movement depicts the sultan Schakhriar, before a tender, sinuous violin solo introduces Scheherazade herself; thereafter, in Rimsky-Korsakov’s own words “a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale images” leads to a peaceful coda confirming that Scheherazade has finally won over the sultan’s heart. The piece remains one of the former naval officer, Rimsky-Korsakov’s most popular works.

For its second programme item, the ESO is privileged to share the concert platform with the accomplished, Scottish lyric soprano, Lisa Moffat, to perform the elegiac Four Last Songs (Op posth) by Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Lisa is at home singing oratorio, opera or orchestral repertoire and joins us fresh from her recent success as Juliet in Bellini’s The Montagues and Capulets. Strauss’s beautiful songs, composed in 1948 as he, perhaps, prepared to bid farewell to the world, superimpose soaring soprano melodies over a full orchestral accompaniment. Although the composer did not conceive of a cycle, their evocative titles seem to imply an order of performance: Frühling (spring)
Concert starts at 7.30pm
Adults - £15
Under-18s - £1
Southernhay United Reformed Church, Dix’s Field, Exeter, Devon EX1 1QD
Sat 23 March