Storytelling: Program Notes for the November 18, 2018 Concert

Join us November 18, 2018 for the first concert of the 2018/2019 season, “Storytelling.” The concert will feature a full orchestra and will be conducted by Alan Mautner, the La Mirada Symphony’s Music Director and Conductor. (This page was updated on November 10, 2018)


La Mirada Symphony
Alan Mautner, Music Director & Conductor
Sunday, November 18, 2018, 3:00 p.m.


Festival Overture Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975)

Selections from Peer Gynt Suites, No. 1 and No. 2 Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907)
Ingrid’s Lament
Arabian Dance
Peer Gynt’s Journey
Morning Mood
Anitra’s Dance
In the Hall of the Mountain King


Scheherazade, Symphonic Suite, Op. 35 Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908)
The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship
The Kalandar Prince
The Young Prince and The Young Princess
Festival at Baghdad; The Sea; Shipwreck on a Rock

* * *

Dmitri Shostakovich – Festival Overture
September 1906 – August 1975

Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union but had a complex and difficult relationship with the government. Nevertheless, he received accolades and state awards. His music shows the influence of many of the composers he most admired: Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, and Berg. Shostakovich’s output includes 15 symphonies, 6 concerti, 15 string quartets, 3 operas, solo piano works, and a substantial quantity of film music. Shostakovich developed a hybrid voice, combining a variety of different musical techniques into his works.

The Festival Overture, written in 1954, was completed in just three days. Shostakovich died of lung cancer in August of 1975.

Fun Fact: Shostakovich was in many ways an obsessive man: he regularly sent cards to himself to test how well the postal service was working.

Edvard Grieg – Music from Peer Gynt Suites 1 and 2
June 1843 – September 1907

Grieg, a Norwegian composer and pianist, is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers and the best known of all 19th century Scandinavian composers. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions put the music of Norway out into the world. Grieg made a European career for himself as a virtuoso pianist and conductor.

The two Peer Gynt Suites were extracted from the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen’s 1867 play of the same name.

Fun Fact: Grieg was considered a miniaturist; incapable of coping with grand symphonic composition. In his early years, he composed his only symphony, which he suppressed.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade
March 1844 – June 1908

He was the most prolific of all Russian composers of his era. He composed in all sorts of musical forms but was most prolific in the field of opera and symphonic poems. Rimsky-Korsakov was a master of orchestration as evidenced by his best-known orchestral compositions—Capriccio Espagnol, the Russian Easter Festival Overture, Scheherazade. They are staples of the classical music repertoire, along with suites and excerpts from some of his 15 operas.

Scheherazade is an example of his frequent use of fairy tale and folk subjects. The reasons for its popularity are clear enough; it is a score packed with beguiling orchestral colors, fresh melodies, a mild oriental flavor, and a rhythmic vitality.

Fun Fact: For much of his life, Rimsky-Korsakov combined his composition and teaching with a career in the Russian military—at first as an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy, then as the civilian Inspector of Naval Bands.