Three Russian composers and a brilliant young artist, violinist and guest conductor Matthew Woodard, provide the inspiration for Russian Festival. The spirited program includes Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D and “Firebird Suite,” Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and Glinka’s “Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture.”
Matthew Woodard, a 17-year-old from South Hadley, MA, will play Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, a touching and invigorating masterpiece that references the circus’ crisp, frolicking rhythms, and Bach, through glowing melody and extravagant ornamentation. Brattleboro violinmaker and Windham Orchestra member Douglas Cox created the instrument Woodard will play for this performance.
Woodard will also conduct the lively overture to Glinka’s magical opera “Ruslan and Lyudmila.” Little sense of the opera’s dark arts or skullduggery is present in the overture, which lures us in with its bright youthful vigor and innocently romantic second theme. The overture is brief and very tightly organized with exquisitely orchestrated contrapuntal writing.
Tchaikovsky’s glorious symphonic poem “Romeo and Juliet,” all youthful ardor and passion, and Stravinsky’s 1919 “Firebird Suite” complete this sumptuous program. The Firebird perfectly complements the Violin Concerto: aching, magical tenderness, infernal dances, and breathtaking climaxes in Stravinsky’s early work, wry subtle humor and warmest affection in his later violin concerto.
Join the Windham Orchestra for Russian Festival on Friday, June 8, at 7:30 pm, at Landmark College in Putney; or Sunday, June 10, at 3 pm, at Latchis Theater, in Brattleboro.
Tickets are $15 or $10 for students and seniors, and are available by calling the Brattleboro Music Center at (802) 257-4523 or by visiting www.bmcvt.org.
For more information about the orchestra visit www.windhamorchestra.org.