The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra kicks off the 2012-2013 season with a program that is out of this world. Out of this World is the name of the concert that features works from E.T., Star Trek and The Planets. Professor of Composition at Methodist University, Keith Dippre, will also perform. The concert is scheduled for Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Reeves Auditorium at Methodist University.
Dippre and FSO Maestro Fouad Fakhouri have been friends for some time and the orchestra has performed Dippre’s works in the past. For this concert, Dippre’s composition is called “Sun Ra an Apogee of Saturn.” While many might think of the Egyptian sun god, Dippre based his composition on big-band era musician Sun Ra. “He was quite famous in his day,” said Dippre. “He claimed he was from Saturn. The piece I wrote isn’t trying to sound like him per se, but it was inspired by him. And he has connections to outer space, so I thought it might ﬁt with what is being programmed.”
The piece has a lot of percussion, and Dippre is conﬁ dent that the audience will ﬁnd the composition entertaining.
“We also use an instrument, that you don’t usually hear in an orchestra — a shofar, which is a Hebrew instrument that traditionally is made of a ram’s horn,” Said Dippre. “Historically, it was used for a war cry before going into battle.”
Composer John Adams is known for his minimalistic style of composition. His work is characterized by a lot of repetition in a piece and slowly changing the rhythm or harmony by just a single note at a time. His piece “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” was written in 1986 for the Great Woods Music Festival in Mansﬁeld, Mass. The melody is monotonous, but what makes the composition work is how the rhythm and instrumentation constantly change.
Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell (Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra), Op. 34, by Benjamin Britten, is based on the music of Baroque composer Henry Purcell. In 1946, Britten supplied music for Instruments of the Orchestra, an educational ﬁlm based on Purcell’s work. The result was Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell (Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra), Op. 34. Like the title implies, this composition uses variations on a theme to create interest within the work and still maintain consistency.
When the Nazi’s ruled Germany in the 1930s and ‘40s, many classical composers ﬂed the country and ended up in Hollywood. They used music to inﬂuence the way viewers felt during performances. John Williams has built on that tradition since the 1960s. In fact, his work is included in ﬁlms like Star Wars, Jaws, Schindler’s List and E.T. Williams has received ﬁve Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and 21 Grammys.
Gustov Holst composed The Planets, Op. 32 between 1914 and 1916. While the piece made him famous, he did not enjoy its popularity. At this performance, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra will perform “Mars” and “Jupiter” from Holst’s work. Inspired by astrology, The Planets was an attempt to showcase the astrological “personalities” and their relationships with the planets. ‘Mars, The Bringer of War” is a martial movement with its brutally percussive machine rhythms, and was actually written a few months before the outbreak of World War I. According to Holst’s directions, it is to be played slightly faster than a regular march, to give it a mechanized and inhuman character. “Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity,” with its broad central British folk-like melody was strongly inﬂuenced by Edward Elgar. The mood of this movement bears little relationship to the Greco-Roman king of the gods.
Upcoming performances include Italian and Spanish Inspirations on Nov. 17; Musical Holiday on Dec. 8; Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Feb. 23; and Masterpieces on April 13. To ﬁ nd out more about the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra or to purchase tickets, visit www.fayettevillesymphony.org.
Photo: Fouad Fakhouri, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra.