The Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. David Newby, will perform Oct. 28 with a concert of classic and contemporary works.
Opening the program is Suppe’s "Poet and Peasant Overture" then Rodrigo’s "Concierto de Aranjuez" featuring guitarist Jack Cimo.
"The Poet and the Peasant" is one of Franz von Suppe's earlier operettas, written in 1846 when he was 27 years old. He wrote it to accompany a production that he called a “comedy with songs.” It tells of the escapades of a broken-hearted poet as he vacations amongst the “country-folk” in the mountains. The brass play a solemn chorale to begin the overture. A solo cello gets an extended melody accompanied by the harp. The orchestra intrudes with a fiery section that dissolves into a waltz and then revs up for the required “flash-and-dash” ending.
The work may sound familiar: It appears in a 1935 Popeye cartoon titled “The Spinach Overture,” in which Popeye leads a small ensemble, but arch-enemy Bluto steals the players to augment his own more impressive orchestra. Popeye, however, has a secret weapon. After downing a can of spinach, he ferociously battles his adversary while conducting all the musicians in a triumphant scene from Suppe’s overture.
Joaquin Rodrigo’s "Concierto de Aranjuez" is an extraordinarily popular and often-performed guitar concerto that came about when Spanish guitarist Regio Sainz met with Rodrigo in 1938, and begged him to compose a work for the modern classical guitar accompanied by a modern orchestra. Blind since age 3, Rodrigo overcame his handicap and the pianist used a Braille notation system to compose. He completed the requested work in 1939 and named iit after the Aranjuez region of Spain that he and his wife enjoyed visiting.
After the intermission, TSO will end the concert with Debussy’s "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun," and Jack Mason’s arrangement of Bernstein’s "West Side Story" selections including “I Feel Pretty,” “Maria,” “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “One Hand, One Heart,” “Cool” and “America.”
Audience members may meet directors, soloists and musicians during the reception following the concert.
Karen Budai is the director of publicity for the Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra.