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Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015

Orchestra dishes up plate of 'Sweet Suites'

Friday, December 28, 2001

Music Director and Conductor Stephen Rogers Radcliffe and the musicians of the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra will be featured in the SCSO's next subscription concert, Saturday evening, January 12, 2002 at 8 p.m., in the historic Orpheum Theatre.

The evening of "Sweet Suites" will delight the musical taste buds of even the most discriminating listener.

The concert opens with a suite of ballet music from various operas by the early-Classical composer Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) and adapted for the modern orchestra by Felix Mottl. It includes the famous "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" from Orpheus. Gluck is best known in the annals of music history for rejecting the stilted and formulaic Baroque opera (prone to excesses on the part of the singers) and developing an opera more varied musically and focused on the drama.

The most familiar suite on the program is Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's (1843-1907) incidental music to Peer Gynt. Morning Mood, In the Hall of the Mountain King and Solveig's Song are without a doubt among the all-time greatest hits of the classical repertoire. During the 19th Century, Norway was ruled first by Denmark and later by Sweden. Grieg and the playwright of Peer Gynt Henrik Ibsen were the two most prominent artists who brought Norwegian culture to the attention of the rest of Europe. In 1874, Ibsen invited Grieg to write a few pieces of music to accompany a new production of the play. A year later, he had composed 23 pieces, from which he later extracted pieces for the two suites you will hear performed on this concert.

The final piece of the evening celebrates n of America's great national treasures. The Grand Canyon Suite was composed by Ferde Grofe (1892-1972) in 1931. He played viola for ten years with the Los Angeles Symphony before being hired as a pianist and arranger for Paul Whiteman's big band in 1920. His reputation as a leading figure in symphonic jazz was established in 1924 with his orchestration of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Grand Canyon Suite depicts a typical day in the Canyon beginning with the mysterious Sunrise where the sun first shines on the highest peaks and then burst forth over the whole scene. On the Trail features a recalcitrant mule. The day closes with a Sunset followed by a dramatic Cloudburst, a piece considered by famed conductor Arturo Toscanini to be one of the most vivid and terrifying pictures in music.

For more detailed program notes, visit www.siouxcity symphony.com/concert04.htm

For ticket information, call 712-277-2111.

Sweet Suites is supported, in part, by gifts from Wells Fargo Bank and Argosy's Belle of Sioux City Casino, with media sponsorship by KMEG and Star 102.3.