Fondazione Arena: two Russian masterpieces and 140 orchestras for the last symphonic concert of 2022

For the last appointment of the 2022 Symphony Season, two Russian masterpieces between late romanticism and innovation are performed for the first time at the Philharmonic: the concert by the visionary Skrjabin with the pianist Edoardo Maria Strabbioli and the suite from the opera The Golden Rooster by instrumentation master Rimsky-Korsakov. The Choir adds to the virtuosic colors of the Orchestra for the timeless spirituality of the Symphony of Psalms by Stravinsky. Conductor Francesco Cilluffo makes his awaited Veronese debut.

The young master from Turin Francis Cilluffoa reference interpreter of 20th century opera and today, at home in the great Italian theaters as well as at the Wexford and The Grange Festivals, and in concert halls from the United States to Tel Aviv, makes his debut on the podium of theOrchestra arena after two years of postponements dictated by the pandemic, with the last double appointment of the 2022 symphonic season, announced last December and focused on the music of great Russian composers between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries according to three visions not too distant in time but between them very different. The first of these different sound worlds offered to the public is the most recent, the Symphony of Psalms created in 1930 by Igor Stravinsky for the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (revised in ’48). Despite the “neoclassical” label, the work looks to an archaic past, with original but austere timbres and baroque polyphonic forms, as well as to an intimate but not subjective spirituality, which has its roots in Byzantine culture. In the orchestra of this original symphony of solemnity out of time, the voices of Choir by Fondazione Arena, prepared by Ulisse Trabacchin, who sings the texts of Psalms 39, 40 and 150 in Latin.

This is followed by a tribute to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Aleksandr Skrjabin (1872-1915) with the youthful Concert for piano and orchestra(1896), which remained his only experiment in the genre, still not widespread in the repertoire. It is a refined late-romantic work divided into the canonical three movements, in balance between Chopinian influences and the search for originality with melodic impetus and color experiments. Sui generis it is the starting point of the tonal system in F sharp minor, a “hue” dear to Scriabin also in the following years of his short life as a pianist and composer, always looking for extra-musical inspirations and synesthetic works of total art. At the solo piano will sit Edward Maria Strabbioliapplauded several times in recent seasons in Verona in rarely performed concert pages.

Closing the program is Nikolaj Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), naval officer, prolific composer, teacher of a generation of Russian and European musicians, as well as the greatest connoisseur of the secrets of orchestration. This weekend appears in the Fondazione Arena programs with the suite taken from the last of his sixteen plays for the theatre: The Golden Rooster. This symphonic “synthesis” in four paintings exemplifies the genius of its author, the very rich instrumental palette, the seductive melody, bending them to the expressive ends of the story, a Pushkin fairy tale with harsh satirical content. The protagonist is the old Tsar Dodon, who receives a magical golden rooster as an alarm to defend his borders. An unexpected enemy threatens them: the princess of Šemacha, whose unparalleled beauty seduces the children of the tsar and then Dodon himself with an oriental sound world where the hand of the famous author of Scheherazade. The story not too covertly hides a critique of the injustice of war and the abuse of tsarist power, arguments strongly felt in Pushkin’s time and even seventy years later, when the composer found himself in disagreement with the repression of the uprisings of the 1905 and the conflict with Japan. A stance that did not escape the power of the time, which hindered the staging of the work, performed posthumously and only after censorship interventions). Music rarely heard, highly refined and highly enjoyable, for a captivating, grotesque, timeless black fairy tale.

The premiere of the 10th concert is on Friday 25 November at 20.00 (subscription round A), with a musical program of about 80 minutes plus an interval, and repeats on Saturday 26 November at 17.00 (round B). By law, the Covid-19 certification (Green Pass) and the use of the mask are no longer required.

The 2022 Artistic Season continues in December with a new production of the work La Bohemewhile the entire 2023 calendar is already on sale, richer than ever, with twelve symphonic appointments and unpublished programs, which can be subscribed to at affordable prices.

The initiatives of Arena Youngaimed at students and staff of schools, universities, academies: among these the Back to the theatre, an approach to music proposed by the Arena di Verona Foundation. The school world will be able to attend the performances on the bill at the Philharmonic Theater, with the opportunity to participate in a Prelude one hour before the show: a moment of approach to the musical language of the concert, which will take place in the prestigious Sala Maffeiana. You can join the last one Prelude of the 2022 season for the 10symphonic concert Friday 25 November at 7pm.

Information and reservations: – tel 045 8051933, Training Office

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Fondazione Arena: two Russian masterpieces and 140 orchestras for the last symphonic concert of 2022