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Pro Arte presents Dancing Through the Centuries

May 21, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Dancing through the Centuries
Sunday, May 21, 2023 3pm
Earl Lee, conductor

Pro Arte and Earl Lee, Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, have crafted a fascinating program based on music and movement stretching back six hundred years. Béla Bartók wrote that he would raise the folk music in and around his native Hungary “to the level of art song.” His popular Romanian Folk Dances are evocative arrangements of traditional Transylvanian fiddle tunes. The soulful songs of Southern chain gangs inspired Kenji Bunch’s powerful Supermaximum. Battalia, by Baroque composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, is a bracing depiction of a battle that requires unconventional techniques from its string players. As the first Black woman to be widely recognized as a symphonic composer, Florence Price was a pioneer in American music. Her Andante moderato is a luminous arrangement of the slow movement from one of her string quartets. In music, La Follia—Italian for “folly”—refers to a frenzied peasant dance from fifteenth-century Portugal. The dance’s catchy chord progression later spread throughout Europe, forming the basis for countless compositions, including a set of variations for solo violin by Arcangelo Corelli, which was later arranged by his pupil Francesco Geminiani for string orchestra. In her La Follia Variations, contemporary composer Michi Wiancko takes this a step further, reflecting Geminiani’s Baroque concerto grosso in a dreamy twenty-first-century mirror.

Béla Bartók Romanian Dances
Kenji Bunch Supermaximum
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber Battalia
Florence Price Andante moderato
Arcangelo Corelli/Francesco Geminiani, Arr. Michi Wiankco La Follia Variations


May 21, 2023
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra
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Second Church in Newton
60 Highland St.
West Newton, MA 02465 United States
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