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This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Symphony.
The North Carolina Symphony invites the public to be in the audience as Grammy Award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey joins the orchestra to perform two works for a live album. Strauss' Don Quixote and Walton's Cello Concerto will be recorded live at both NCS concerts this weekend, April 5 and April 6, at Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. This will be Bailey's third recording collaboration with NCS and Music Director Grant Llewellyn.
Don Quixote is Strauss' tone poem based on the classic 17th-century novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Strauss excelled in writing programmatic music (music inspired by a specific story or idea) and once stated that anything could be described musically – even "a teaspoon." This work journeys through various memorable scenes from Cervantes' famous story about Don Quixote, who has delusions that he is a knight in shining armor and sets off to find the woman of his dreams with the help of his loyal sidekick, Sancho Panza. Together, Quixote and Panza end up on a series of outrageous and hilarious misadventures.
Strauss' orchestration vividly portrays the scenarios encountered by Don Quixote on his travels. The bleating of a flock of sheep that Don Quixote imagines to be a dangerous army, for example, is depicted by muted brass instruments. Rapid ascending and descending scale passages, a harp, and a wind machine represent an imagined ride through the air on a flying horse (in reality, Quixote and Panza are atop a wooden horse planted firmly on the ground.)
"Strauss paints a series of musical portraits of Don Quixote's ill-fated exploits, from an adventure with windmills to encountering a band of pilgrims," says NCS Associate Principal Trumpet Timothy Stewart. "The Don's musings about the Lady Dulcinea, the imagined woman of his dreams, inspire some of Strauss' most ravishingly beautiful music."
As solo cellist, Bailey performs the music representing Don Quixote himself, while Sancho Panza's part is played by a solo viola. Roberto Díaz, Grammy-nominated violist and former Principal Viola of The Philadelphia Orchestra, joins in this live-recorded performance.
The charming musical vignettes of Don Quixote are juxtaposed with the deeply introspective Walton Cello Concerto. Commissioned by cello great Gregor Piatigorsky, this work has a unique form, with tender, slow outer movements surrounding a fast-paced middle movement. The solo cello's expressive, lyrical themes soar above the orchestra.
Zuill Bailey's previous acclaimed albums with NCS include Britten's Cello Symphony and Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante. This third and final recording completes the trilogy.
For tickets and more information, please click here.
North Carolina Symphony Don Quixote
Friday & Saturday, April 5 & 6 at 8:00 pm Meymandi Concert Hall Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts Raleigh, NC
PERFORMERS North Carolina Symphony Grant Llewellyn, conductor Zuill Bailey, cello Roberto Díaz, viola
PROGRAM Walton: Cello Concerto Strauss: Don Quixote
TICKETS start at $18 https://www.ncsymphony.org/events/141/don-quixote/
About the North Carolina Symphony
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) is a vital and honored component of North Carolina's cultural life. Each year, the North Carolina Symphony's 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement events are enjoyed by adults and schoolchildren in more than 90 North Carolina counties – in communities large and small, and in concert halls, auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants, clubs, and outdoor settings. The Symphony's full-time professional musicians perform under the artistic leadership of Music Director Grant Llewellyn.
NCS's state headquarters venue is the spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The Symphony's service across the state includes series in Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines, and Wilmington, as well as the Summerfest series at its summer home, the outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. NCS brings some of the world's greatest talents to North Carolina and embraces home-state artists from classical musicians to bluegrass bands, creating live music experiences distinctive to North Carolina.
Committed to engaging students of all ages across North Carolina, NCS leads the most extensive education program of any symphony orchestra – serving nearly 70,000 students each year. In alignment with the curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the Symphony provides training and resources for teachers, sends small ensembles into classrooms, and presents full-orchestra Education Concerts that bring the fundamentals of music to life. Music Discovery for preschoolers combines music with storytelling, and at the middle and high school levels, students have opportunities to work directly with NCS artists and perform for NCS audiences.
NCS is dedicated to giving voice to new art, and has presented 49 U.S. or world premieres in its history. In 2017, NCS appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as one of four orchestras chosen for the inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras – an honor that recognized the Symphony's creative programming and innovative community partnerships.
The first state-supported symphony in the country, NCS performs under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. To learn more, visit ncsymphony.org.