FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lakeside, Ohio – Hoover Auditorium, one of the cultural hot spots on Lake Erie, hosts a variety of musicians, comedians, illusionists, dancers and bands nightly. This year, the historical auditorium will host acts such as Chapter 6, Melissa Manchester, Phil Keaggy and Fernando Ortega, OSU Alumni Band, the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra, Debby Boone and the 60th anniversary of the Barbershop Quartet. Daily fun and family entertainment await guests of all ages in Lakeside. Admission to the grounds requires a one-day gate pass of $17 (adult), $12 (youth ages 12-18) and children under the age of five and guests over 90 are free.
Celebrating its 46th season, the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra will open its 2009 season with a program of light classics, including pieces by acclaimed composers Antonin Dvorak, John Philip Sousa, Johannes Brahms, Alexander Borodin, Franz Liszt, Frederic Chopin and concluding with Lakeside Symphony Orchestra favorite, 1812 Overture at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 29 in Lakeside’s Hoover Auditorium. This is the first of eight concerts for the orchestra during its month-long residency in Lakeside. All programs will be conducted by Music Director Robert Cronquist, who has dedicated 39 years to this well-known Chautauqua program.
The season will begin with Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, one of three overtures that he wrote to convey the three great forces of the universe – nature, life and love. Carnival Overture portrays a lonely wonderer coming to a town during a street carnival, and the excitement and later tranquility that ensue, portrayed by an English horn and violin. The themes merge and the overture ends in an energetic coda. Performed in Prague just before Dvorak left for America, it received its American premiere in 1892 at Carnegie Hall.
The evening concert will include John Philip Sousa, known as the American March King, who wrote many marches as director of the U.S. Marine Band and several more after leaving the service. He traveled the country with his own band and was later recognized by Hollywood for his contributions with a movie based on his life, Stars and Stripes Forever. His marches remain popular to this day. This program will feature, “Semper Fidelis,” the march he wrote for the U.S. Marines, meaning “always faithful” in Latin.
Johannes Brahms, another featured composer, did not claim authenticity of the many Hungarian dances that he used for his compositions – the old traditional Hungarian tunes had been played in one form or another by gypsies for decades. He did arrange them for piano and also transcribed several for orchestra. Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 is an excellent example of his expertise as a composer, as several themes are presented in an exciting but orderly fashion.
The Russian composer Alexander Borodin, 1833-87, did not live to complete his opera, Prince Igor, but was instead completed by his friends, Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazonoff. The famous Polovetsian Dances from this opera are well-known and represent the Polovetsian people of central Asia. The tunes he used in this composition are taken from Polovetsian folk songs. Many of the melodies have been used again in the Broadway production of Kismet.
Franz Liszt, the famous pianist and teacher, was a father of the “symphonic poem genre.” He was also the composer of the Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano and later orchestrated. Liszt had been drawn to the music of the Hungarian gypsies, which he brought to life in his Hungarian Rhapsodies. His No. 3 differs from the others by its succession of different tempos and colorful contrast to the famous No. 2. In true gypsy fashion, both compositions end in a flurry of sound and passion.
Frederic Chopin, another famous pianist, wrote fewer orchestral works than Liszt and most of his orchestral works are actually transcriptions of his famous piano pieces. The Polonaise is no exception, having been orchestrated by Alexander Glazounov. There can be no question as to the nationalistic Polish influence in Chopin’s work – the fiery orchestration only emphasizes this.
The 1812 Overture is a commemorative piece of Russian history, in which French and Russian themes are clearly portrayed. Nicholas Rubinstein commissioned the work for the 1880 Moscow Exhibition. Tchaikovsky completed the work in 1881 and it finally received its premiere on August 20, 1882 at the Arts and Industrial Exhibition in Moscow. With its history, it is interesting that this piece has become such a popular part of most American symphonies repertoire.
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