The Greenville Symphony’s Russian-born conductor has a special affinity for the colorful, rhapsodic orchestral works of his native land.
Classical music fans can expect Edvard Tchivzhel to bring a thrilling, go-for-broke approach to the all-Russian program at the orchestra’s next Masterworks concerts, Saturday-Sunday at the Peace Center.
As any longtime observer of Tchivzhel will tell you, Greenville’s maestro loves brisk tempos, dramatic contrasts and powerful orchestral playing.
On tap for the program, “The Russian Sorcerer & His Apprentices,” are works by Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Borodin, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Igor Stravinsky.
“The program represents the best of Russian music of the 19th century,” Tchivzhel said in a recent interview.
As a special treat, Stravinsky’s dazzling “Firebird” Suite will be accompanied by projected visual images created by students from the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.
“I was very pleased with their creativity,” Tchivzhel said. “They have tremendous imagination.”
‘Sorcerer and His Apprentices’
The “sorcerer” of the program’s title is Glinka (1804-57), regarded as the father of Russian concert music. He inspired generations of Russian classical composers.
“All music in Russia stems from him,” Stravinsky said 101 years after Glinka’s death.
Glinka sought to create a unique Russian musical culture by using folk music and stories from Russian history and folklore.
The concerts open with Glinka’s exuberant Overture to “Russlan and Ludmilla.”
Next up is Borodin’s Second Symphony, subtitled “Heroic” and inspired by the lore of Russia’s medieval knights.
The program also features Borodin’s best-known work, the energetic “Polovtsian Dances.” Broadway fans will recognize the piece’s themes as the inspiration for the 1953 musical “Kismet.”
Closing the program are two classical-music dazzlers: Rimsky-Korsakov’s brilliantly orchestrated “Capriccio espagnol” and Stravinsky’s electrifying “Firebird” Suite.
The Greenville Journal’s Paul Hyde will present a free pre-concert talk one hour before each Greenville Symphony performance. He’ll be joined by artists Marty Epp-Carter and Paul Yanko, who’ll discuss the visual images created for the program. Follow Paul on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.
If you go
- What: Greenville Symphony Orchestra: “The Russian Sorcerer & His Apprentices”
- When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25; 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 (Free pre-concert talk takes place one hour before the performances)
- Where: Peace Center
- Tickets: $19-$76
- Info: 864-467-3000 or www.peacecenter.org