FIRE SPIRIT | Festival FORCES OF NATURE

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Performers:
Jakub Frączek (marimba)
Mariusz Smolij (conductor)
Toruń Symphony Orchestra
Radosław Droń (conductor assistant)

Event program:
G. Holst – Dance of the Earth Spirit, Water Spirit and Fire Spirit from the Perfect Fool ballet
C. Xu – Phoenix for marimba and string orchestra (premiere)
M. de Falla – El Amor Brujo ballet suite
I. Stravinsky – Firebird

The concert ‘Spirit of Fire’, prepared as part of the Forces of Nature Festival – ‘Power of Fire’ is a   symphonic concert, whose repertoire was prepared so as to lead the audience into the world of resonant and exuberant fire. During it, the audience will hear the first ever performance of Phoenix  on the marimba, accompanied by the string orchestra. The purpose of all of that is to summon the spirit of the mythical creature of fire, Phoenix, who will become a sui generis patron of the entire festival.

The adventure with the subject of fire will start for a member of the audience at the concert inaugurating  the festival by listening to Dance of the Spirit of Earth, Spirit of Water and Spirit of Fire from the ballet Perfect Fool of Gustav Holst. This piece of music constitutes the opening of the opera written in 1918-1922, and perfectly illustrates its profile, overfilled with magic and energy. Due to  the spirits of elements referred to the libretto, the music which constitutes the basis of a comprehensive piece of music, reflects the profile of each and every of them. In it, therefore, a magic of land, full of life, a magic of water, full of coolness and tranquility, and also the magic of fire, full of impetous emotions  and unpredictable. All these sensations are evoked in members of the audience with the use of music presented by the symphonic orchestra.

In the course of the concert ‘Power of Fire’,  Phoenix of the Chinese composer, Xu, will be presented to the European audience for the first time ever. So as to make this piece of music appropriately dynamic, it will be performed in a version for the marimba and the string orchestra. Thanks to this type of instrument combination, it will be possible to present the absolute beauty and uniqueness of the entire piece of music. Phoenix, as a mythical fiery bird, has become an inspiration to many music composers. Each and every of them strives to compose a piece of music which will become possible to illustrate the force of this creature, while maintaining his uncontrollable, perpetually born again nature.

El Amor Brujo, in the form of a symphonic suite, is the most frequently performed piece of music of de Falla. It is composed of all parts of ballet music, and it was completed in the year 1915.  The idea for El Amor Brujo initiated from the inspiration by the artistic activity of a Gypsy woman of Andalucia, whose singing and dancing fascinated entire Spain. The story presented in the ballet is overfilled by the enchantment of love, full of temperament, passion and fiery heat, which are to reflect the nature of Spain Gypsy music. The substance of this piece of music, and the piece of music particularly important for the ambience of the festival, will be Dance of Fire, which will evoke the imagination of the audience and kindle senses with music.

Firebird is a ballet suite which was the first great success of Stravinsky, and its libretto is based on an old Russian legend of Prince Ivan, who, helped by the Firebird, releases a stunningly beautiful princess from the hands of the Koschei, the sorcerer. The music which was composed for this story combines mystery and lively character. The piece of music particularly related to the subject of the festival, namely fire, is Dance of the Firebird. This piece of music is expressive, and its clear sounds are performed on wooden instruments and the piano.

The concert co-organised and co-financed under the Institute of Music and Dance ‘conductor – resident’ programme

Initiated by the Institute, the programme ‘conductor – resident’ programme is to present and promote young Polish conductor, and also allow them to make their debuts and gain experience in performing by contacts with a professional orchestre ensemble. The conductor-resident of the Toruń Symphonic Orchestra in the season 2018/2019 is Radosław Droń.