South Florida Symphony Orchestra
Shostakovich's Epic 5th
Sebrina María Alfonso, conductor
Julian Schwarz, cello
HOLST The Perfect Fool: Ballet Music
LIEBERMANN Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5
“If they cut off both hands, I will compose music anyway holding the pen in my teeth,” said Shostakovich in 1936. Maestro Alfonso leads Shostakovich’s epic Fifth Symphony, a grand work of huge climaxes, triumphant marches, and exhilarating brass. Profoundly sad, the symphony conveys an indomitable spirit and remains his most popular.
Holst’s comic opera, The Perfect Fool, written in 1918-22, begins with a ballet which is danced by Spirits of Earth, Water and Fire. A wizard summons the Spirits of Earth with a trombone invocation that rises in energetic fury and descends with ponderous deliberation. When the clumsy, clod-hopping dance has reached its climax the Earth Spirits scurry underground, leaving the solo viola to call up the Spirits of the Water who bring ‘the essence of love distilled from Aether’. With the abrupt arrival of the Spirits of Fire the third dance crackles back to life.