Symphonic Blockbuster

Symphonic Blockbuster The Haddonfield Symphony and Music Director Rossen Milanov perform one of the orchestra world’s most famous blockbusters on Saturday, April 16, 2005 at 8 p.m. at Cherry Hill West Auditorium in Cherry Hill, NJ bringing their 2004-2005 season to a climactic end. These blockbusters, interestingly, are all born of evolutions – music, religion, man and nature.

Already a great work in its own right, Stanley Kubrick’s use of Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra in the opening moments of the groundbreaking film 2001 – A Space Odyssey thrust it into popular culture, evoking images of a dawning of a new way of thinking. Also sprach Zarathustra is the fifth of Strauss’ seven tone poems. It is based on the writings of Nietzsche, and tells the story of Zarathustra, who comes down from a hilltop after a decade of solitude and shares with man his newfound beliefs. His descent from the hilltop is depicted in the opening measures with a sunrise that is unequaled in music, and these are the phrases that are so stunningly used in 2001 – A Space Odyssey. In the continuation of the tone poem, Strauss conveys the evolution of Nietzsche’s so-called “Superman.” This moving and inspired work requires heavy instrumentation and has become one of the warhorses of symphonic repertoire.

The concert begins with another piece based on an evolution, this time of musical works – Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphoses of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber. Originally conceived as a ballet, the project fell-through due in part to Hindemith’s resistance of Salvador Dali as the set designer. The piece was reborn a few years later and the metamorphosis of the four Weber themes varies – some being left almost completely intact, while others have been gutted and new counterpoint and harmonies have been added. It is obvious that Hindemith took great liberties with Weber’s works and he is famous for noting that because these were not Weber’s best themes, he felt free to treat them as he pleased.

The final evolutionary work on the program is Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, performed by award-winning Astral cellist Clancy Newman. Bloch’s inspiration for the piece is the Book of Ecclesiastes, telling a gripping story of Jewish faith and heritage, with the solo cello representing the voice of Solomon. Mr. Newman has been heard in broadcasts on NPR and has won many competitions across the globe, including First Prize in the 2001 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Australian National Youth Concerto Competition.

The Haddonfield Symphony offers tickets and information on this performance online at www.haddonfield-symphony.org or through the box office at (856) 429-1880.

Haddonfield Symphony concerts are wheelchair accessible performances. Large print programs are available at all subscription concerts; newsletters and brochures are available in large print upon request. Assistive Listening Devices are available at select venues. Please ask for information.

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