Winter Concert, January 10, 2010

The Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society
P.O. Box 6682, Kamuela, HI 96743

1. December 2009


The Kamuela Philharmonic will continue its 2009-2010 season with a performance of Gioachino Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” and Modest Moussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” on Sunday, January 10, 2010 at the Kahilu Theater in Waimea. The concert will begin at 4:00 pm, and admission is free. Seating is limited, so arrival at least 30 minutes before the concert begins is recommended.

Rossini’s opera “William Tell” recounts the story of a rebellion by the Swiss against their Austrian rulers in 14th century Switzerland. At one point in the opera, after William Tell has refused to pay homage to the Austrian Governor, he is ordered to shoot an apple off his son’s head. Instead, after the timely arrival of his fellow rebels, Tell kills the governor and helps the Swiss defeat the Austrians. The four part overture to the opera illustrates this story and concludes with a high energy, triumphant “cavalry charge”. This familiar theme from Rossini’s last opera has become his most famous work. It was first performed in 1829, has become a major part of standard concert and recording repertoire, and is well known to American audiences through its extensive use in radio and television.

Modest Moussorgsky completed his most famous piano composition, “Pictures at an Exhibition,” in 1874. His close friend, and fellow Russian artist Viktor Hartmann had died unexpectedly the previous year. Moussorgsky was inspired to compose this piece after attending an exhibition of Hartmann’s work, which included paintings lent from his own personal collection, at the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. The 10-part piano suite depicts a stroll through an art collection. This suite was not published until 1886, five years after Moussorgsky’s death.

Dozens of composers arranged “Pictures at an Exhibition” for orchestra after Moussorgsky’s death, but the most well known and best version was produced by Maurice Ravel in 1922. Ravel’s arrangement uses a variety of sound and instrumentation very effectively. Melodies started in one section are often continued by other instruments to add surprise and color, allowing the orchestration to develop emotion and texture. Like many of Ravel’s compositions, this arrangement was first developed as piano music, then painstakingly thought out and refined over time, building on the original theme. Ravel, a French composer of Impressionist music, is best known for his orchestral work “Bolero,” but he also counted the Russian school of music and American jazz among his musical influences.

Dr. Madeline Schatz, artistic director and conductor of the Kamuela Philharmonic, chose the two pieces for this concert because they both “tell a story.” Her colleagues in the Hawaii Preparatory Academy art department researched and collected the images they believe Moussorgsky may have used to inspire his composition. These images will be projected above the orchestra as it plays “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Though many of the pictures from the Hartmann exhibit have been lost, six (including two owned by Moussorgsky) that have been definitively linked to his work, as well as others that may or may not have been an inspiration, are included in this multi-media presentation.

As always, the Kamuela Philharmonic continues to work toward its goal of making fine orchestral music accessible to local audiences. Despite overhead and administrative costs for every performance, our concerts are free of charge through the support of our generous donors, including the dedicated orchestra members who donate their time and talent to the group. If you want to help us in our mission, please drop your contribution into our calabash, which will be in the front lobby at our performance. If you prefer, you can mail your donation to Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society, P.O. Box 6682, Kamuela, HI 96743. Since KPOS is qualified as a 501(c)(3) organization, your donation may be tax deductible. For more information about our group and upcoming events, you may also wish to visit our website:

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