The Planets

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World Premiere Horn Concerto
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The Planets
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From the New World

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“ of the best symphonic concerts we ever attended”

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“...the recording sounds wonderful, it is surprising to hear all the instruments so well...”


Listen to the Audio recording of this concert

The Planets


Saturday, June 7, 2008; 8:00 PM at Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos - Donation: $20 general, $15 senior/student, children 12 years and younger with adult FREE · Tickets available at door at 7:00 PM or from orchestra members in advance - Tickets now available ONLINE.
FREE Champagne Reception with Food the soloists and orchestra performers

Michael Paul Gibson, Conductor
Thomas Alexander, Concertmaster
Shirley Harned Kelley, Soprano Soloist
Scott Krijnen, Conducting Castillero Middle School Advanced Orchestra

Marche Slave, Op. 31
  by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

clipart_tech_audio_028 GASP   Written November 17, 1876

The Slavonic March in B flat minor, Op. 31 (also commonly known by its French title Marche slave), is an orchestral composition by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

In June 1876, following incidents in which Turkish soldiers killed a large number of Christian Slavs, Serbia declared war on Turkey. Many Russians sympathized with those they considered to be their fellow Slavs and sent volunteer soldiers and aid to assist the Kingdom of Serbia. In the ensuing struggle the Serbian army was quickly defeated by the Turks.

Nikolai Rubinstein, a close friend of Tchaikovsky, asked him to compose a piece for a concert benefiting the wounded Russian volunteers. In a burst of patriotism, Tchaikovsky composed and orchestrated what was first known as the "Serbo-Russian March" (later to be known as "Marche slave") in only five days. The piece was premiered in Moscow on November 17, 1876 to a warm reception.

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P.I. Tchaikowsky
1840 - 1893

The march is highly programmatic in its form and organisation. The first section describes the oppression of the Serbians by the Turkish. It uses two Serbian folk songs. The first "Come my dearest, why so sad this morning?" is played at the outset, as Tchaikovsky directs, "at the speed of a funeral march". The second folk song is more optimistic in character. An episode follows, describing the atrocities in the Balkans, in which Tchaikovsky uses his mastery of the orchestra to build a tremendous climax, at the height of which the first folk song returns, fortissimo on the trumpets like a plangent cry for help. The tempestuous mood subsides giving way to the second section in the relative major key, which describes the Russians rallying to help the Serbs. This is based on a simple melody with the character of a rustic dance which is passed around the orchestra until finally it gives way to a solemn statement of the Russian national anthem "God Save the Tsar". The third section of the piece is a repeat of Tchaikovsky's furious orchestral climax, reiterating the Serbian cry for help. The final section describes the Russian volunteers marching to assist the Serbians. It uses a Russian tune, this time in the tonic major key and includes another blazing rendition of "God Save the Tsar" prophesying the triumph of the Slavonic people over tyranny. The overture finishes with a virtuoso coda for the full orchestra.

Habanera: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle

Seguidilla: Près des remparts de Séville

from “Carmen”
          by Georges Bizet

Written 1875

Shirley Harned Kelley, Mezzo-Soprano Soloist

Carmen is a French opera by Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Meilhac and Halévy, based on the story of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.

The opera premiered at the Opéra Comique of Paris on March 3, 1875. For a year after its premiere, it was considered a failure, denounced by critics as "immoral" and "superficial".

The story is set in Seville, Spain, circa 1830, and concerns the eponymous Carmen, a beautiful Gypsy with a fiery temper. Free with her love, she woos the corporal Don José, an inexperienced soldier. Their relationship leads to his rejection of his former love, mutiny against his superior, turn to a criminal life, and ultimately, out of jealousy, murder of Carmen. Although he is briefly happy with Carmen, he falls into madness when she turns from him to the bullfighter Escamillo.

Several well-known pieces from this opera have taken on a life separate to the work: the Prélude (overture), the Toréador Song, and the Habanera.

Today, it is one of the world's most popular operas and a staple of the standard operatic repertoire. Carmen appears as number four on Opera America's list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America.

Shirley Harned Kelley

Shirley Harned Kelley


Georges Bizet
1838 - 1875


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
          by Hans Zimmer
arr. Ted Ricketts

Carpe Diem
          by Richard Meyer

     by Camille Saint-Saëns
arr. Merle J. Isaac
Joined by players of SVS

Castillero Middle School, Advanced Orchestra

    • Scott Krijnen, Director and Conductor

Scott Krijnen


Firebird Suite

  • Berceuse
  • Finale
    by Igor Stravinsky

clipart_tech_audio_028 GASP    Written 1919

The Firebird (French: L'Oiseau de feu; Russian: Жар-птица, Žar-ptica) is a 1910 ballet by Igor Stravinsky and choreographed by Michel Fokine. The ballet is based on Russian folk tales of the magical glowing bird of the same name that is both a blessing and a curse to its captor.


Igor Stravinsky
1882 - 1971

The music was premiered as a ballet by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris on 25 June 1910 conducted by Gabriel Pierné.[1] It was the first of their productions with music specially composed for them. Originally the music was to have been written by Russian composer Anatol Liadov (1855-1914); but when he was slow in starting work, Diaghilev transferred the commission to the 28-year old Stravinsky. The ballet has historic significance not only as Stravinsky's 'breakthrough piece' ("Mark him well", said Diaghilev to Tamara Karsavina, who was dancing the title role: "He is a man on the eve of celebrity..."), but also as the beginning of the collaboration between Diaghilev and Stravinsky that would also produce Petrushka and The Rite of Spring.

The ballet was staged by George Balanchine for the New York City Ballet in 1949 with Maria Tallchief as the Firebird with scenery and costumes by Marc Chagall, and was performed in repertory until 1965. The ballet was restaged by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins in 1970 for the New York City Ballet with new scenery and Karinska costumes for the 1972 Stravinsky Festival that introduced Gelsey Kirkland as the Firebird.


The Planets

Suite for Large Orchestra

          by Gustav Holst

Written between 1914 - 1916

  • clipart_tech_audio_028 GASP  I.  Mars, the Bringer of War
  • clipart_tech_audio_028 GASP  II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace
  • clipart_tech_audio_028 GASP  III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger
  • clipart_tech_audio_028 GASP  IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
  • clipart_tech_audio_028 GASP  V.  Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
  • clipart_tech_audio_028 GASP  VI. Uranus, the Magician
  • clipart_tech_audio_028 GASP  VII. Neptune, the Mystic
      • Silicon Valley Symphony Chorus under the direction of Shirley Harned Kelly

The Planets Op. 32 is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, written between 1914 and 1916. The Planets is the most-performed composition by an English composer.[1] Its first complete public performance was on October 10, 1918 in Birmingham, with Appleby Matthews conducting. However, an earlier invitation-only premiere occurred during World War I on September 29, 1918, in the Queen's Hall in London, conducted by Adrian Boult.

The elaborate score of The Planets produces unusual, complex sounds by using some unique instruments and multiples of instruments in the large orchestra (like Mahler's Sixth of 1906), such as three oboes, three bassoons, two piccolos, two harps, bass oboe, two timpani players, glockenspiel, celesta, xylophone, tubular bells, and organ (see "Instrumentation" below). Holst had been influenced by Stravinsky, who used four oboes and four bassoons in his Rite of Spring (1912-1913) and by Schoenberg's 1909 composition titled "Five Pieces for Orchestra".


Gustav Holst
1874 - 1934

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