As the final Spokane Symphony classics concert of the season (featuring a Frank Zappa work) serenades our fair city this weekend, it’s time to look on to next year’s roster of classical and pop works. The usual suspects are all there like the annual Nutcracker, the New Year’s Eve Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony showing and the Labor Day Weekend parks performances. But there’s a whole lot more to discover. Yes, you person who thinks they don’t like classical music. Get in there and listen to something different. We assure you, it’s anything but boring.
The Top Eight works to look forward to:
8. About a month early for Halloween, the Symphony takes on Modest Mussorgsky’s frightening tone poem Night on Bald Mountain. Yes, this is the scary piece from Fantasia when the devil pops out and terrorizes a city. Revel in your nightmares once more with this concert. Part of the Russian Adventures classics concert, Sept. 19 – 20.
7. They’ve taken on Casablanca and Psycho, next the Symphony plays the score to Charlie Chaplin’s romantic comedy City Lights. Released in 1931, the film is considered one of the best ever put to celluloid and Chaplin even penned the score. The performance runs Feb. 6.
6. Opera is awesome. Stop rolling your eyes, it's time to try it out. In another concerted effort by the symphony to collaborate with arts groups in the area, the symphony puts on Puccini’s La Boheme(what the musical Rent was based on) with the help of Coeur d’Alene opera and the Spokane Symphony Chorale. Performances run Nov. 21 – 22.
5. The solo piano part for George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is something like 50 pages long. But don’t worry; soloist Andreas Boyde will have the whole thing memorized by the time he arrives in Spokane this fall. The truly American–sounding work, heard in many films and commercials, is cool classical jazz at its best. Part of the American Wonders classics concert, Oct. 10 -11.
4. Anna Clyne, born in 1982, composes symphonic music that people play — proving that not all composers are long-dead men from Europe. Once again the Symphony with a Splash concert series brings you to the height of music that’s being written right now. Prince of Clouds — a concerto for two violins, written in 2012, features concertmaster Mateuz Wolski and second violinist Amanda Howard-Phillips. Part of the Symphony With a Splash: Autumn Splash, Nov. 6.
3. It’s not yet on the schedule, but hopefully another installment of Uncharted Territory, a collaboration between the symphony and Terrain, is in the works. This year’s performance showed so much potential. We can’t wait to see more.
2. Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet ballet score is beautiful, but if you like your Romeo and Juliet with teeth, check out another Russian’s version of events. Musical selections from Prokofiev’s R+J ballet are extraordinary, loud and full of brassy explosions. Part of the Love Hurts classics concert, Jan. 23 – 24.
1. The piece begins with the solo cello ripping your heart out. The orchestra soon chimes in to soothe the burn, but only for a while. Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto is the one you can’t miss. It’s one of the best pieces ever written. Period. Maja Bogdanovic is the featured soloist. Part of the Zen Fantastique classics concert, Feb. 27-28.
Of course, all of these concerts are subject to change.