“Spring Enchantment” at the Symphony


May 6th, 2011

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Omaha, NE – This weekend, the Omaha Symphony celebrates the season with some whimsical music and special guests.

JoAnn Falleta, Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, is the guest conductor for the Omaha Symphony's Spring Enchantment (Photo courtesy Omaha Symphony)

The Omaha Symphony will present “Spring Enchantment,” a voyage with fantastic themes and a riddle or two. JoAnn Falleta, Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, is the guest conductor. Opening the concert is an arrangement Falletta prepared of the music from Prokofiev’s ballet, Cinderella. The ballet, while comic at times, is no Disney story.

“I like to say it’s a film noir Cinderella,” Falleta said, “in which we get to see this sort of dark underpinning but with music of absolute beauty.”

The guest soloist is Julian Schwarz, who will be playing the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No. 1.

“Everything he wrote, to me, is a jewel, and this cello concerto is like that,” she said. “It exploits all of the wonderful possibilities for the cello: the virtuosic character, and its songfulness, as well. It sort of brings a sweetness and sense of cantabile, and expressivity to the cello that makes it a classic and I’m so glad we’re doing that.”

The Second half of the program opens with Mendelssohn’s “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage” overture, and moves along to the Enigma Variations of Sir Edward Elgar, a work that portrays Elgar’s inner circle.

“Elgar wrote this piece as something of a love letter to friends who meant a great deal to him,” Falleta said. “His wife of course is one of the variations, a music critic who believed in him when no one else did, students, friends, people who were important to him are in these “Enigma Variations,” and each little variation is a snapshot portrait of someone he loved.”

The Omaha Symphony’s “Spring Enchantment” concerts are on stage at the Holland Performing Arts Center downtown at 8 pm Friday and Saturday.

Listen to the full interview with JoAnn Falleta

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