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Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights
October 19, 2019

Dr. William LaRue Jones and Ye Yu, bassoon

The BMSO presents Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and Dr. William Larue Jones and Ye Yu, Bassoonists present the Dietter Double Bassoon Concerto. Dr. Jones is also a world renowned conductor, educator and mentor to Dr. Everett.

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"The Man Whose Gloves Were on the Wrong Hands"......Max Wolpert
Concerto for Two Bassoons...................Christian Ludwig Dietter (1757-1822)

          I. Allegro
         II. Romanze - Adagio
         III. Rondo - Allegro
                       Dr. William LaRue Jones and Ye Yu, bassoonists
Scheherazade, Op. 35.........Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

I. The Sea and Sinbad's Ship
II. The Kalandar Prince
III. The Young Prince and the Young Princess
IV. Festival at Baghdad. The Sea. The Ship Breaks against a Cliff Surmounted by a Bronze Horseman

Program Notes

Max Wolpert: The Man Whose Gloves were on the Wrong Hands.  Max Wolpert is a hugely successful up and coming composer, residing in Boulder, CO.  A native of Thief River Falls, MN, Max, who is also an accomplished fiddler and violinist, played under Dr. Everett's baton in the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra while in high school.  In his own words:  "The Man Whose Gloves Were on the Wrong Hands" is a quirky orchestral 'genré' piece.'  What I really wanted to do with this work was to create, with music, something akin to the scary stories I loved when I was little (and still love today!) - an affect simultaneously deeply frightening and extremely silly!"  

Christian Ludwig Dietter: Concerto for Two Bassoons.  Dietter's dates (1757-1822) coincide roughly with the era commonly referred to as the "Classical" period when describing classical compositions.  That's not confusing, is it?  Dietter was a German violinist and composer to the Duke of Württenberg.  As early as the famous Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi, the bassoon began to be brought to the fore as a solo instrument.  Vivaldi himself composed 38 concertos for the bassoon!  By the time of the Classical period, the bassoon fully emerged as a solo instrument.  Prized for its ability to blend, support harmonic lines and play melody lines, it was given prominence in the compositions of the likes of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.  Dietter is not alone in composing for more than one bassoon in a solo role:  From the period there are concertos for 2, 3, 4 and even 5 bassoons!  The Dietter piece has gained popularity because of its beauty and accessibility  and fun for performers and audience.  

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade.  Rimsky Korsakov composed Scheherazade in the summer of 1888 and conducted its premiere on November 3 of the same year in St. Petersburg.  As a young boy, Rimsky-Korsakov had a fascination with the sea, and even originally pursued a career in the navy.  Although he went on to graduate from the College of Naval Cadets in 1856, the pull of music was stronger than even the lure of the ocean.  Inspired by The Arabian Nights, a collection of Arabic, Persian and Indian Tales, Scheherazade consists of "separate, unconnected episodes and pictures," as Rimsky himself put it.  He prefaced the score with a reminder of the story's premise: to subvert the Sultan Shahriar's vow to kill each of his wives after the first night; but the Sultana Scheherazade spins an intricate web of tales, one per night for 1,001 nights, ultimately winning over the Sultan and being spared her life.