The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has been bringing culture and great music to Fayetteville for more than 50 years. Not only do they perform at several venues around town, including local schools, churches, colleges and outdoor parks, they also partner with local arts and cultural venues to perform free concerts and educational events several times a year in addition to a rigorous concert season.
The 2010-2011 season is underway and on Nov. 20, the symphony is in tune to perform its second concert of the Season of Masterworks. “
The reason we chose the pieces for this program is that its theme is legends and riddles,” said Dr. Fouad Fakhouri, conductor of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra.
“The first two pieces of the program really are legendary pieces.” The first one is the “Overture to the Flying Dutchman” by Richard Wagner. Fakhouri compares this piece to a recent film that was quite popular. “It is a great overture that deals with the legend of love — the story is very similar to Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Fakhouri explained the legend behind the piece: There is a sailor who is cursed and his only way to salvation is to fi nd a woman on shore who will love him unconditionally and forever. Every seven years he comes to shore for that one chance — to try and find his love.
Next in the line up is Felix Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E Minor” which will be performed by Juliana Athayde. Athayde is currently a professor of violin at the Eastman School of Music and has an impressive list of professional accomplishments including an appointment as concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 2005 at the age of 24. Prior to that, Athayde was concertmaster of the Canton and Plymouth Symphonies. She has also performed as guest concertmaster with the Houston Symphony and National Arts Center Orchestra, and has performed both nationally and internationally with the Cleveland Orchestra.
The finale of the evening is Sir Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations — the Riddle.”
“The reason it is labeled as such is the composer wrote this tune and he told everybody that there is something more to that tune than what is there on paper and nobody to date has been able to figure out what the riddle is behind the piece,” said Fakhouri. “It is a beautiful piece because it is a portrait of all of his friends and loved ones.”
Elgar took one theme and he has 14 variations of this theme, each one representing a person in his life. He has initials on every one of those movements and those initials are of his friends and relatives.
“One is of his wife, it is just a beautiful theme and the way he transforms this idea to every person’s character is really fascinating,” Fakhouri added “The last movement of that work is his variation — a musical self portrait — and it is such a great movement. He brings back his wife’s theme in a very delicate moment, as if to say that ‘All of the things that happened earlier in my life were great but the one constant in my life has been my wife’ and he brings that one theme to the very end in a emotional way.”
Before each performance, the maestro has an informal chat with the audience about what they will hear during the concert, what to listen for and what is significant in the pieces that will be performed. This pre-performance discussion will include Athayde.
So, while the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at FSU’s Seabrook Auditorium, if you get there around 6:45 p.m. you’ll have a chance to learn a bit about the music and the performers.
“I think it is definitely going to be exciting and really imaginative in many ways and very diverse.” said Fakhouri. “The beauty of it is there are three different pieces, but certainly two of them have a very profound meaning behind the music.”
To find out what else the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has in store for the rest of the year, and to purchase tickets, visit www.fayettevillesymphony.org