Tempo sheet

VYO Spring 2016 tempo sheet

Practice notes

VYO notes 19 Feb 2016

Concert program order

  • Glazunov March
  • Delius Over the Hills
  • intermission
  • Prokofiev Capulets
  • Falla Three Cornered Hat
  • Elgar Pomp and Circumstance (encore)

Alexander Glazunov, March on a Russian Theme, Op. 76

This piece, written in 1901, has its roots in a collaborative set of piano variations written 1898-99 by a group of composers led by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. As the most prominent composer involved (aside from Rimsky), Glazunov was given the opportunity to write the final variation of the set, which is based on a folk song, “Tiny Little Boy.” At this point, I haven’t discovered why Glazunov wrote a march based on this tune; maybe it had become an “ear worm” that he needed to exorcise by composing this March!


Russian RTV performance

Frederick Delius, Over the Hills and Far Away

This “fantasy overture” is a product of English composer Frederick Delius’ rather Bohemian decade spent in Paris, having previously completed his formal music studies in Leipzig after a stint as an orange farmer in Florida(!) Possibly begun as early as 1893, it received its premiere in Germany in 1897 and was first played in London two years later. It shows the influence of Richard Wagner in some of its more chromatic moments and a section strongly reminiscent of the music linked to the river Rhine in the overture to the first opera Wagner’s Ring Cycle. “Over the hills and far away” shares its title with a number of songs including an 18th century folk song and a track from Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” — after listening to all three, I don’t think there’s link between them aside from the title…

Performance led by Sir Thomas Beecham, Delius’ strongest advocate

Sergei Prokofiev, “Montagues and Capulets”  from Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, op 64 bis

Carrying over our Romeo and Juliet theme from last concert’s West Side Story, this movement is perhaps Prokofievs’ most famous/iconic piece. It makes such a strong impression as opening for the 2nd orchestral suite drawn from the ballet that it’s surprising to discover that, while its opening is drawn from the introduction to Act III of the ballet, the main, jaggedly dramatic section is a set piece from the masked ball in Act I.

Performance of the version we are playing (Tugan Sokhiev leading the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse)

A ballet performance of the Dance of the Knights

 And, if you have two and a half hours to spare, here is a complete performance of a production by the New York City Ballet

Manuel de Falla, Suite from the Three Cornered Hat

I love this piece! Just like the Firebird, it was commissioned for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, premiering in Paris in 1919. The hat in the title is that of the Corregidor (magistrate), an old and foolish local official . The outline of the story is a common trope of pre-modern popular entertainment — old man in a position of influence tries to seduce beautiful young woman and is tricked and humbled by the woman (and, frequently, her husband). The piece is structured around a numbers modeling classic Spanish dances. Here’s the synopsis from the publisher’s website:

An honest miller is happily married to a good wife. The elderly local governor, who wears a three-cornered hat, uses his power falsely to arrest the miller and keep him away from home, so that he himself can pursue the miller’s wife. Having escaped and finding the governor in bed, the miller at first contemplates murder, but decides on a neater revenge. He swaps clothes with his persecutor and visits the governor’s wife.The governor, now in the miller’s clothes, is re-arrested. A crowd gathers, the miller reappears, is reunited with his wife and the governor is mocked.

We will perform the first two sections of the first orchestra suite from the ballet

  • Introduction/Afternoon
  • Dance of the Miller’s Wife (Fandango)

and the entire 2nd suite

It’s a great showpiece for the VYO and a perfect way to end our season! [We will also follow our tradition of playing Pomp and Circumstance No. 1 (Land of Hope and Glory) by Edward Elgar.]


First and Second Suites, National Orchestra of Spain led by Jesus Lopez-Cobos

Note: We skip over the music from 4:46 to 9:48 in this recording (the music between the Miller’s Dance and Neighbors’ Dance is not in your parts)

Full staging of the ballet

Edward Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance No. 1

Our traditional spring concert encore!


Performance from “Last Night of the Proms” 2014