Ravel La Valse
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture
Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s August residency will continue the new tradition of featuring Tchaikovsky’s famed 1812 Overture, complete with fireworks and live cannon fire as the kick-off to the 2019 orchestra season. New to the program for 2019, will be the SPAC premiere of dancers from the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO).
Internationally acclaimed, PHILADANCO is celebrated for its innovation, creativity and preservation of predominantly African-American traditions in dance. Described as “Exuberant” by the New York Times, Philadanco has grown, since 1970, from a community arts organization based in West Philadelphia to a dance company celebrated throughout the world. Joan Myers Brown and her 17 dancers are famed for innovative choreography, blending African American-based dance with ballet, jazz, and modern.
The evening will be conducted by Stéphane Denève, who is currently in his fifth season as principal guest conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, a position that runs through the 2019-20 season.
- Ravel was extremely upset with the way Serge Diaghilev, commissioner of La Valse, reacted to the original version of his piece, initially intended to be a ballet tribute to the waltz and Johann Strauss II, that when they met a year prior to La Valse’s premier, Ravel refused to shake Diaghilev’s hand. Diaghilev then challenged Ravel to a duel, although, fortunately, friends were able to persuaded Diaghilev to call it off.
- Despite its success, Tchaikovsky loathed his 1812 Overture. He thought it had no artistic merit and condemned it for being too loud, adding that it was obviously written without warmth or love.
- The 1812 Overture was popularized in the US due in large part to a thrilling performance by the Boston Pops in 1974. In an effort to increase ticket sales, conductor Arthur Fiedler choreographed fireworks, cannons, and a steeple bell choir. Since then, it’s become a tradition to perform the overture on Independence Day.
Read more here:
- Waltzing Duel. Maurice Ravel: La Valse: http://www.interlude.hk/front/waltzing-duel-maurice-ravel-la-valse/
- The 1812 Overture: the hit that Tchaikovsky hated: https://www.classicfm.com/composers/tchaikovsky/guides/1812-hated-hit/
Event to Follow
Live at the Jazz Bar! With with the Hot Club of Saratoga
Where: Jazz Bar
About Live at the Jazz Bar: Stroll up the hill to the Hall of Springs Jazz Bar to enjoy live jazz music by acclaimed regional ensembles. The series is courtesy of Freihofer’s Baking Company, the longtime title sponsor of SPAC’s iconic Saratoga Jazz Festival.
Venue: Jazz Bar