Grab a seat under the pines for "The Pines of Rome," the North Carolina Symphony's musical toast to the natural world. The concert takes place at Cary's Booth Amphitheatre tonight, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. Children 12 and under are free on the lawn.
Resident Conductor William Henry Curry leads the orchestra in a showcase of evocative compositions by Richard Strauss, Leroy Anderson, Edward Elgar, Benjamin Britten and more. They lead to a thrilling finish in Rimsky-Korsakov's ever-popular Flight of the Bumblebee and Respighi's epic masterpiece, The Pines of Rome.
One third of Respighi's glorious Roman Trilogy, The Pines of Rome depicts the titular trees as they watch over life from midday to dawn in four corners of the city. In the composer's words, he aimed "to use nature as a point of departure, in order to recall memories and visions" as the pines "become testimony for the principal events in Roman life."
Premiered in Rome in 1924, the work was an immediate sensation, becoming one of the most popular and oft-quoted compositions of the 20th century. It figured prominently in Disney's Fantasia and was cited by John Williams as a source for many of his film scores. With bold brass lines and recognizable nods to the sound of children playing and the songs of nightingales, it is an ideal work for an outdoor concert.
Maestro Curry is not satisfied with a single musical trip, however, as the concert also takes listeners to the American West with selections from Ferde Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite and across the cosmos, thanks to the program's opener, the fanfare to Richard Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra, most famous as the theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Also on the program is Leroy Anderson's The Waltzing Cat, Edward Elgar's The Wild Bears, music from Benjamin Britten's seaside opera Peter Grimes and Alan Hovhaness's And God Created Great Whales, complete with recorded whale song. Concertgoers will also delight in one of music's wildest rides: Rimsky-Korsakov's breakneck Flight of the Bumblebee.
For tickets, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at www.ncsymphony.org or call the North Carolina Symphony Box Office at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724.