The final concert of the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra’s 2021-2022 season will take place on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at 8:00 PM in the Department of Music’s Concert Hall. The concert, titled The Spotlight on our Students will put the attention on the amazing musicians in the orchestra, the winner of the 2022 Fresno State Concerto Competition, violinist Alexander Han, and a world premiere by the composition student Estevan Olmos.
Alexander Han, student of Dr. Limor Toren-Immerman, is an award winning violinist that also participated in numerous competitions and festivals around the world. He is a co-winner of the 2022 Fresno State Concerto Competition and will be performing the first movement of Brahms’ Violin Concerto, a truly symphonic concerto that fully integrates the orchestra and is known as one of the most challenging concertos technically, but also one that has some of the most beautiful melodies written for this genre.
Estevan Olmos’ Distilled Fervor was written for the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra and will be premiered in this concert. He is a composition student of Dr. Kenneth Froelich and a percussion student of Dr. Matthew Darling. His composition is taking full advantage of the large symphony orchestra with an expanded percussion section that creates excitement and a wide variety of colors and effects.
Florent Schmitt composed the symphonic poem Le palais hanté based on Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Haunted Palace. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a fascination among the French with the “dark side” of literature, and Poe was a massive interest with the masterful translations of Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarmé. Schmitt’s work is constructed in the Lisztian tradition of the symphonic tone poem. Throughout the piece, there are numerous mysterious, eerie sounds and colors from the orchestra to illustrate Poe’s “haunted palace of the mind” as a symbol of mental illness. The pacing and contrasts of the music represents the different states of human emotions and the breakdown of rational thought and order.
Ottorino Respighi’s grand symphonic suite Vetrate di Chiesa (Church Windows) is one of Respighi’s monumental Sinfonia drammatica – a score of epic proportions for a correspondingly large-scale orchestra. It began as a small-scale piano work during the summer of 1919 that was reworked into the large symphonic suite Church Windows which was premiered in 1927. The work consists of four movements and overall can be described as massive and medieval sounding as each movement is based on Gregorian Chants. Respighi consulted Claudio Guastalia, a literature professor, to help him find a title and subtitle for each movement. Based on Guastalia’s inspiration and ideas, each movement represents the drama of a major church event as depicted on the stained-glass windows of Italian churches.