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The Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra
Raul Munguia - Artistic Director & Conductor

2008-09 Season

Thursday - Saturday
November 20th - 22rd
~ 7:00 p.m. ~

Sunday Matinee
November 23rd
~ 2:00 p.m. ~

Memorial Auditorium


Tickets:

Adults: $15
Children/Seniors: $13
Some Balcony Seats: $8

Call: (620) 231-7827 Concert program (PDF)
Concert poster
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Sponsored, in part by:

KODE-12 logo

KSN TV logo

University National Bank logo

Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas logo

Kansas Arts Commission logo

National Endowment for the Arts logo

Concert Graphic

November 20th - 23rd, 2008
Program Notes

The Southeast Kansas Symphony
in association with
the Midwest Regional Ballet,
& Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium

Presents

The Nutcracker (ballet), Op.71

Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Overture

ACTE I

I TABLEAU
No. 1 ~ Scène de l'ornement et de l'illumination de l'arbre de Noël
No. 2 ~ Marche
No. 3 ~ Petit Galop des enfants et entrée des parents
No. 4 ~ Scène Dansante
No. 5 ~ Scène et Danse Gross-Vater
No. 6 ~ Scène: Le départ des invités. La nuit
No. 7 ~ Scène: La bataille

II TABLEAU
No. 8 ~ Scène: Une forêt de sapins en hiver
No. 9 ~ Valse des flocons de neige

ACTE II

No. 10 ~ Scène: La palais enchanté de Confiturenbourg
No. 11 ~ Scène: L'arrivée de Casse-Noisette et Claire
No. 12 ~ Divertissement
a) Le chocolat
b) Le café
c) Le Thé
d) Trépak
e) Les Mirlitons
f) La Mère Gigogne et les polichinelles
No. 13 ~ Valse des fleurs
No. 14 ~ Pas de Deux
Variation 1 (pour le danseur)
Variation 2 (pour la danseuse)
(Danse de la Fée-Dragée)
Coda
No. 15 ~ Valse Finale et Apothéose
L'Apothéose

Written In: February 1891 - March 1892
First Performed: Saint Petersburg, Mariinskii Theatre, December 6-18, 1892, conducted by Riccardo Drigo, choreographed by Lev Ivanov.
Other Titles: Shchelkunchik, Caisse Noisette

It is Christmas Eve in Dr. and Mrs. Stahlbaum's home. Clara and her brother Fritz anxiously await the arrival of family and friends. Fear and excitement fill the air when Herr Drosselmeyer arrives with magical and exciting presents for all the children. His very special gift for his god-daughter Clara will take her on a journey through the enchanted snow forest and a kingdom full of sweets.

You see, the Drosselmeyer's nephew has been transformed into a nutcracker by the evil Rat King. The spell can only be broken if a young girls falls in love with the nutcracker doll and he slays the Rat King and saves the Kingdom of the Sweets.

And the rest is a beautiful dream.

Or is it?..........

Scored for: 2 Piccolos, 3 Flutes, 2 Oboes, Cor Anglais, 2 Clarinets (B♭, A), Bass Clarinet (B♭, A), 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns (F), 2 Trumpets (B♭, A), 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Triangle, Castanets, Tambourine, Children's Instruments (Trumpet (C), Drums, Cuckoo (C), Quail (C), Cymbals), Cymbals, Bass Drum, Tam-tam, Glockenspiel, Celesta (or Piano), 2 Harps, SA chorus, and Strings.

A special "thank you!" to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra
who graciously supplied the Nutcracker orchestra parts.


Brief History of the Nutcracker

By December of 1891, the Imperial Opera Directorate was so completely impressed by Tchaikovsky's "The Queen of Spades" (Pique Dame), they commissioned the composer to write a ballet and a one-act opera for the following season. The ballet was to be based on E.T.A. Hoffman's tale "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". Because the choice of subject matter was not his decision, or perhaps the tale in its original form is fairly gruesome, Tchaikovsky was not particularly happy with the selection, and considered it a much lesser work than his "Sleeping Beauty".

That of course did not stop his creative talent, and he began work on the ballet early in 1892, before beginning his tour of the United States. He discovered the celesta, a new instrument just developed by the French harmonium crafter Auguste Mustel, as he was about to depart. It immediately struck his ear, as easily as a new color would have interested a painter, and he hurried to include it into his repertoire, before he could be outdone by his contemporaries Rimsky-Korsakov, or Galzunov. It first appeared in his symphonic poem "The Voyevoda", but is widely know for its use in the ballet. Even though others could have written as artistically as Tchaikovsky, it is very difficult to top the right tool in the right hands at the right time. The Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy is indeed a plum for the instrument, and it's effectiveness in any other piece may be debated with interest.

The Nutcracker received its premiere in December, 1892 in St. Petersburg. The initial choreography had been debated over the years, thought to by Lev Ivanov with the Imperial Russian Ballet, but in more recent years, Marius Petipa and the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre Ballet. It was more than forty years later that it received its first showing outside of Russia, in London in 1934. The first United States premiere was in New York, in 1940, in a one act condensed version, the full ballet performed in San Francisco in 1944. In 1954 the New York City Ballet performance, choreographed by George Balanchine marked the beginning of an annual effort to perform the work. It wasn't until the late 1960's, however, that the Nutcracker has become so closely associated with holiday tradition.

Many listeners are familiar with melodies from the second act, due to the often-performed Nutcracker Suite. We hope you enjoy the total creativity of Tchaikovsky in this full ballet production.


Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky was born on May 7th, 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia. He spent several years of his early life, at his father's direction, studying in the School of Jurisprudence and began his career as a clerk at the Ministry of Justice in 1859. After only a few years, he left that unfulfilling 'career', and began attending full time classes at the St. Petersburg music conservatory, later to become a professor of harmony at the Conservatory of Moscow.

Friends with the likes of Balakriev, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Borodin and influenced by their Nationalistic writing talents, Tchaikovsky preferred a more cosmopolitan, European approach to his compositions. He was financially assisted throughout his career by the wealthy widow of a Russian railroad tycoon, Nadezhda von Meck. Tchaikovsky and von Meck met only briefly a few times, but they corresponded in over 1200 letters over the span of some 12 years, and he expressed more of his thoughts and feelings to her than with any other. The relationship ended suddenly, von Meck claiming financial ruin. The composer was independently supported by this time, but the loss of her friendship was very devastating.

Although widely known for his fairy tale ballets; the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake, he wrote other formidable compositions - operas, symphonic poems, violin and piano concerti, and his six symphonies. The last, "Pathétique", premiered less than two weeks before his death on November 6, 1893.

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Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

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