Symphony performs ‘Schubert and the Egyptian’

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Glacier Symphony brings “Schubert and the Egyptian” to the concert stage in February

“Schubert and the Egyptian” is a whimsical title capturing the fun essence of Glacier Symphony’s next concert offering, featuring works by two popular composers, French composer Camille Saint-Saens and Viennese master Franz Schubert. The concerts will be held on February 17 and 18 at Flathead High Performance Hall in Kalispell.

The concert will open with the orchestral showpiece “Bacchanale” from Saint-Saens’ opera “Samson and Delilah.” Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major, “The Egyptian,” featuring soloist and piano virtuoso Stephen Beus, will follow. Saint-Saens is best known for his popular works “Carnival of the Animals,” “Dance Macabre” and his great Organ Symphony No.3, as well as five piano concertos. “The Egyptian” concerto is filled with bounteous lyricism and named for the North African influence of its second movement.

“It’s an absolutely beautiful concerto, as will be aptly demonstrated by our soloist Stephen Beus, who last appeared here in 2016 performing Schumann during Festival Amadeus in Whitefish,” said Glacier Symphony Music Director John Zoltek.

Following intermission, Maestro Zoltek will lead the orchestra in Schubert’s impressive Symphony No. 9 in C Major, “Great,” one of the finest symphonies from the early Romantic period. Zoltek explained that the symphony is a profound work that encapsulates Schubert’s song-style, offering lyrical folksy melodies within the symphonic context. “It explores a seemingly endless progression of beautiful tunes and melodies, tinted with just the right amount of Viennese sentiment, with rustic and kitsch elements.”

Zoltek said that Schubert fuses a large-scale symphonic form with his personal Austrian song-style resulting in a true masterpiece like no other in the repertoire. “It may have been a starting point for a new direction of expanded symphonic form which, sadly, Schubert didn’t live to fully realize. The work was discovered in a desk drawer after his death by composer Robert Schumann,” he added.

Both performances will be held at Flathead High Performance Hall in Kalispell on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 3 p.m. A special $15 ticket price is being offered on Saturday night only for tier 2 and 3 seats in honor of Valentine’s Day. All youth through grade 12 are admitted free of charge.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.glaciersymphony.org, at the Glacier Symphony Box Office located at 69 N. Main St. Kalispell, or by calling 407-7000.

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