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IGOR STRAVINSKY The Firebird Suite (1919 version)

World premiere “Ancient Echoes” by Colorado composer Michael Udow is a real ‘made in Longmont’ story. Inspired by Longmont-based archaeologist Marilyn Martorano’s 2013 discovery of a set of ancient lithophones (a sort of xylophone made of stones), Longmont-based composer Michael Udow wrote music for orchestra and a replica of these instruments to celebrate the musical connection we have with the people who lived here 6,000 years ago. “Ancient Echoes” is for percussion and full orchestra, and features guest artist Anthony Di Sanza. Building on this theme listeners will be treated to a wildly colorful musical telling of the rising Phoenix story, The Firebird Suite by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. This music will be instantly recognizable to those familiar with Disney’s Fantasia 2000, and the 2021 series Only Murders in the Building which prominently features the bassoon solo in the soothing Berceuse portion of the piece. Finishing this program is another homage to the past. Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 was so heavily influenced by the symphonic music of Ludwig van Beethoven that it is often teased in a good natured way as “Beethoven’s Tenth”. From the opening insistent repeated notes in the timpani we feel the enormous pressure Brahms put himself under in order to meet the bar set by Beethoven, but as the symphony progresses we are transported to a place of greatness that is truly owned by Brahms as a natural successor.

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