UC Davis Symphony Orchestra: “Nocturnes and Dreams”
Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center
UC Davis Symphony Orchestra
Christian Baldini, music director and conductor
Dallapiccola: Piccola musica notturna (Little Night Music)
Luigi Dallapiccola (1904–75) was a serialist composer of Italian descent. Dallapiccola, influenced by the ring of composers that formed the “Second Viennese School,” experimented with the systematic, highly rigid twelve-tone method of composition and applied to it a remarkably lyrical idiom. Piccola musica notturna exemplifies Dallapiccola’s style, marrying intricate harmonic interaction with a Weberneqsue knack for orchestration. The dark character of the movement is punctuated by fleeting moments of playfulness, embodying night’s shadowy unpredictability.
Ravel: Alborada del gracioso
Originally the third movement of the solo piano suite Miroirs, Alborada del gracioso (Morning Song of the Jester) by Maurice Ravel (1875–1937) sets flamboyant Spanish themes against an impressionist backdrop. Ravel’s orchestration of this piece employs Spanish percussion (castanets, in addition to tambourine), a lyrical bassoon solo, as well as other bright timbres from wind instruments. Just as the original piano piece pushes the performers to their limits, this orchestral setting is a highly demanding work that makes the very most of the players’ abilities (notably including a rapidly tongued trumpet solo).
Sciarrino: Introduzione all’oscuro (Introduction to Darkness)
for twelve players
Salvatore Sciarrino (b. 1947) is an Italian composer of new music. The piece is scored for twelve players, including strings, winds, and percussion. Introduction to Darkness is a daunting eighteen-minute sonic journey that ties shrill timbres to a persistent rhythmic pulse, resembling a heartbeat that speeds and slows. The piece is sparsely orchestrated and consistently surprising, an ominous and sometimes frightening depiction of the things we cannot see in the night.
Ravel: Rapsodie espagnole
Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole is an orchestral setting of Spanish themes, perhaps influenced by what he heard growing up in Basque country, on the border of France and Spain, or perhaps from his Basque mother. Rapsodie espagnole is one of Ravel’s earliest pieces for orchestra, demonstrating his penchant for ostinati (repeated musical figures) that comprise the backbone of much of the music. Complex rhythmic devices, such as the hemiola, are also heard in the piece—an homage to the culture it portrays.
$10 Students and Children, $20 Adults (Assigned Seating)