Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Russian Easter Overture




Well, I am really glad I don't have to waste film anymore taking 40 pictures of a thing in order to get one good one. Viva la digital revolution! Even so, this picture isn't exactly stellar.

This one is titled Russian Easter Overture, after the opus by Rimsky-Korsakov. If you aren't familiar with the music, it's a piece with a huge presence. If you like classical music, definitely check it out.

I have always loved classical music that was grand, expressive, bigger than life. The stuff that made me think of heros - that spoke to themes that every generation faces, both tragic and triumphant. So when my high school band director introduced an adaptation of this piece for us to play in a marching band contest (yes, I was a band geek - not because I was in band, but because I LOVED it!), I embraced it fully. Part of what made it such a great experience was that a few years earlier, it had been performed by a high school band and there had been a tremendous uproar. It seems that the public was very uncomfortable with glorifying anything Russian (remember this was many years ago, when communists were still scary) and the association of Godless commies with the holiest of Christian holidays was blasphemy. So not only did we play an amazing piece of music, the kind that makes you feel your heart swell in your chest, but we got to be rebels as well! What more does a teenager ask?

At any rate, after all those years, I had forgotten about the piece altogether. Then, as I was planning this piece, with the red and gold and the scrolling foliage, I thought it looked a lot like designs that decorate Russian Imperial era enamelwork. That's when my memory of the music was sparked. It very nice to be reunited with an old friend.

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