Clarion University Department of Music will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with its presentation of “Spanish Dances and Dialogues,” featuring the Symphony Orchestra, at 3 p.m. May 5 in the auditorium of Marwick-Boyd Fine Arts Center. Dr. Casey C. Teske, associate professor of music, is conductor. The concert is free and open to the public.
The program will include Capriccio Espagnol by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; Carmen Suite by Georges Bizet; Granada from Suite Espagnole, Op. 47 by Isaac Albeniz; Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla; and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story – Mambo by Leonard Bernstein.
“It’s our celebration of Cinco de Mayo – that’s the genesis,” Teske said. “I knew the concert would be on Cinco de Mayo, and I wanted to incorporate music into the entire program where each piece is an example of a Spanish dance or dialogue, or a combination of both.”
The Capriccio incorporates some of the dance elements, Teske said. Carmen Suite is from the famous Bizet opera Carmen: the opera takes place in Seville, Spain, and revolves around story of fiery gypsy and her lover Jose. Several movements revolve around dances and parts of dialogues from the opera.
Grenada, from Suite Espagnole, represents the province in Spain and features the sound of a bandola, a small, lute-like instrument. It’s more of a serenade, according to Teske. Although originally written for piano, Symphony Orchestra is doing an orchestral arrangement.
De Falla, Spain’s most important composer since the Renaissance, contributes from El Amor Brujo the “Ritual Fire Dance,” which captures the exotic sight of a middle-aged Gypsy dancing furiously around the campfire as she conjures disquieted spirits.
The concert ends with Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story that was a smash hit on Broadway and then on film. Mambo, from those dances, is a violent reality that reignites the smoldering rivalry separating two gangs.
The 53-member Symphony Orchestra includes 31 Clarion University students, three Clarion University faculty members and 18 community members, continuing the mission of university and community collaboration.
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