SPRINGFIELD, MASS., MAR. 31, 2017 — What better way to celebrate the coming of spring in New England—or at least the desire for it to come—than with a symphonic tour of the Mediterranean? On Apr. 8, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will treat its audience to powerful classical works inspired by the natural beauty of Spain and mythology of Greece. Featuring works by Franz Liszt and Manuel de Falla, as well as the SSO debut of pianist Washington García, Nights in the Gardens of Spain is sure to satisfy concertgoers’ springtime wanderlust — while never leaving their seats at Springfield Symphony Hall.
The evening will start strong with Hungarian composer Franz Liszt’s epic evocation of the myth of Prometheus. Maestro Kevin Rhodes continues the program’s exploration of mythological Greece with Camille Saint-Saëns’ symphonic poem, La jeunesse d’Hercule.
“The conflict between pleasure and duty are depicted in this work, illuminating the eternal battle of mankind,” explained Rhodes.
The evening’s titular performance of Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain will shift the program from the tumult of mythological Greece to a whimsical exploration of three Spanish gardens set in the Alhambra in Andalusia.
Falla’s “symphonic expressions,” as the composer referred to them, will feature the solo work of visiting pianist Washington García. This Ecuadorian-American musician has amazed concert goers from an early age, touring extensively throughout his native country. Since his debut with the Ecuadorian National Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15, he has been an active recitalist, soloist and lecturer in prestigious venues world-wide. He currently is the Director of the School of Music and a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
The evening’s performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. with doors open at 6:00 p.m. An informal half-hour discussion will be provided before the concert at 6:30 p.m. in the Hall. Guest lecturer is Steve Swayne, author, composer and chair of the Music Department at Dartmouth University, who will lead a lively discussion and take audience questions about the evening’s program. Classical Conversations are free to all ticket holders.
All SSO concerts are held at Springfield Symphony Hall, 34 Court Street, Springfield, Mass. To purchase tickets, contact the SSO Box office at 413-733-2291, springfieldsymphony.org or visit in person at 1441 Main Street, Springfield, Mass.