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Symphony Concert - March 5, 2023
Myths and Legends

Claude Debussy - Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune

In English, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, is a symphonic poem for orchestra composed in 1894. It was first performed in Paris on 22 December 1894. The composition was inspired by the poem of the same name by Stéphane Mallarmé. Debussy's work later provided the basis for the ballet, Afternoon of a Faun


Debussy in 1908


Mallarmé circa 1890


Illustration by Léon Bakst for the ballet Afternoon of a Faun

Maurice Ravel - Shéhérazade

Ravel's song cycle Shéhérazade, was composed for soprano solo and orchestra, setting the words of Klingsor's "Asie", "La flûte enchantée", and "L'indifférent". It was first performed on May 17, 1904, in Paris, with soprano Jeanne Hatto.


Ravel in 1913


Hatto in Die Walküre, 1906 (uncredited - L'Opera magazine at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique)                                           

Aram Khachaturian - ‘Spartacus’ Suite No. 2

Soviet composer, Aram Khachaturian, wrote the ballet, Spartacus in 1954. The work follows the exploits of Spartacus, the leader of the slave uprising against the Romans, known as the Third Servile War. Khachaturian then extracted and arranged music from the ballet for four orchestral suites in 1955.


Khachaturian depicted on a 2003 Russian postage stamp


The Central Bank of Russia issued a commemorative coin depicting Spartacus in 2001.

Paul Dukas - The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

French composer Paul Dukas completed this symphonic poem in 1897. Subtitled "Scherzo after a ballad by Goethe", the piece was based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1797 poem of the same name. Its notable appearance in the Walt Disney 1940 animated film, Fantasia, has made this the most performed and recorded of Dukas' works.


Dukas in 1895


Goethe, age 38, painted by Angelica Kauffman in 1787


Theatrical release poster. The poster art can be obtained from Disney Enterprises, Inc.

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