Die Fledermaus? At A Halloween Concert?



If you’re familiar with the famous waltzes of Johann Strauss II (think “The Blue Danube”), you might be asking yourself, why on earth are we performing the overture from Die Fledermaus for a Halloween concert? It’s not creepy or spooky or scary. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – filled with sweet melodies and bouncy rhythms that act as a preview of the rest of the operetta which is filled with humorous plot twists, cases of mistaken identity, and a final chorus in honor of champagne.

Despite all that, there are 3 great reasons to perform the Die Fledermaus Overture for Halloween:

1. The opera is about a masquerade: The operetta (a term used to describe a short opera with a light or humorous theme) is centered around a masquerade ball. And what’s more Halloween than dressing up in costumes?

2. The title means “The Bat”: Die Fledermaus is German for “the bat”. The operetta’s main character, Eisenstein, left his friend Dr. Falke abandoned and drunk on the street. Dr. Falke was dressed in a bat costume and from that point on he took on the nickname of “Dr. Bat”. Interestingly, “fledermaus” does not translate to “flying mouse”. “Fleder” is an old form of “flattern” which means “flutter”. So “fledermaus” is “fluttermouse”.

3. It’s fun!: Who says Halloween music has to be creepy? After all, it is meant to be a fun holiday and what’s more fun than clapping or swaying along with the famous waltz melody of this overture once called the “pièce de resistance” of the operetta by a Viennese critic. In fact it was so well-received at its premiere that it was interrupted several times by applause.

Be sure to join us on October 27, 2017 and hear us perform this and other Halloween music at “Sounds of the Deep”

Parker Symphony Halloween 2017 Concert - Die Fledermaus


2017 Halloween Events In Parker, CO


Updated 10/11/2017

Denver area city and town calendars are absolutely filled with Halloween events throughout October and especially the weekend before the holiday and Parker’s is no exception. From costumes and trick or treating with the little ones to spooky concerts for adults, here’s a list of Parker, Colorado Halloween Events (and activities near the town) to help you have a fun and festive time.

Denver Area Halloween Concert in ParkerSounds of the Deep: Explore the darker side of classical music with the Parker Symphony Orchestra and Parker Arts. The program includes Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral”, selections from “Phantom of the Opera”, “Orpheus in the Underworld”, and more. There will even be a performance of a piece by Parker, CO composer Ryan Smith. October 27 at 7:30 at PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, CO 80138 Tickets available: parkerarts.ticketforce.com

Parker Colorado Halloween Event Treat or Treat MainstreetTrick or Treat on Mainstreet: Kids of all ages (and well-behaved dogs) can dress up and join the festive fun on Mainstreet, run by the Cherry Creek Valley Rotary Club. Shop owners along East Mainstreet and in the Baskin Robbins shopping center will have candy and treats for your little ones and you can browse the booths of other local businesses along the way. Parking is available at The Parker Station Parking lot and at the PACE Center. For more information, visit the main site here trickortreatonmainstreet.com or ourparkercolorado.com. Downtown Parker, Colorado along Mainstreet east of Parker Road from 3:30 pm -7:00 pm

Parker Co Halloween Event Sweet StreetSafe Halloween Sweet Street: A group of local businesses on the four corners of S. Progress Way and Plaza Drive are offering a safe and fun trick-or-treat walk perfect for Parker kids. Wear costumes, bring goodie bags, and park anywhere along the route in the parking lots. Hosted by The Perfect Fit-children’s footwear, participating businesses include The Perfect Fit, Little Monkey Bizness, J Salon, Kim & Cam’s Taekwondo, Usborne Books & More, Purgatory Cellars, Fast Signs, The Gator Loft, Elk Mountain Brewing, Dolphinz Swim School, Great Finds, Hansen Glass, Board & Brush, Honey Baked Ham, High Prarie Quilts, and Momentum Athletics. October 27 from 3 PM – 6 PM around 10350 S Progress Way, Parker, CO 80134

Parker Halloween Event Fall FestivalRocky Vista Annual Fall Festival: Rocky Vista University’s student clubs and organizations are hosting a free fall festival that’s sure to be a family hit complete with hay rides, cookie decorating, pumpkin painting, obstacle courses, and more. Wear your costume and join the fun. The event is free and open to the community and a great way to kick off your Halloween weekend. October 28 from 1 PM – 3 PM at 8401 S Chambers Road, Parker, CO 80134

Parker Halloween Event Trunk or Treat at Cherokee Trail ElementaryCTE Trunk-Or-Treat: For a family-friendly community event where kids can trick-or-treat safely, check out the “Trunk or Treat” event at Cherokee Trail Elementary. Kids will experience a fun-filled afternoon complete with a ghoulish game area featuring Witch Toss, Halloween Bingo, Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe, Tombstone Toss, and Pirate Hood Ring Toss – all sponsored by Home Stars of Parker. Bring bags and kick off the Halloween weekend! October 28 from 4 PM – 6 PM at Cherokee Trail Elementary, 17302 Clarke Farms Dr, Parker, CO 80134

Parker Halloween Event 17 Mile House Fall FestivalFall Festival at 17 Mile House Just outside Parker is the historic 17 Mile House Farm Park. If you haven’t been there before, October 14 is the perfect day because Arapahoe County is hosting a Free Fall Festival. Pick your favorite pumpkin, enjoy a scenic hayride, try gold panning, experience farm life, pet your favorite animals at the petting farm, take a guided tour, and enjoy music. There will even be Goat Yoga before the event from 9-10 AM. The house is a 155-year old property, which once served as an inn for pioneers traveling on wagon trails to Denver, and was a working farm for more than a century. October 14 from 11 AM – 5 PM at 8181 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80016

Parker Halloween Event 17 Mile House Fall FestivalBat Encounters PACE Center isn’t just home to great concerts from the Parker Symphony. Check out this Family Discovery Series Event – Bat Encounters. Meet bats from around the world including the largest bat with a 6-foot wingspan. Bat expert and founder of the Organization for Bat Conservation Rob Mies will present a fascinating and educational program giving you insight into how bats are key pollinators in deserts and tropical forests and how they are economically important in Colorado. You’ll also learn how you can help bats in your backyard and neighborhood. October 26 at PACE, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, CO 80138

Parker Halloween Event Fright Night at the FieldhouseFieldhouse Fright Night Welcome ghastly ghouls, spooky spirits, and wicked witches to a night of tricks and treats. Kids can make their way down the Trick-or-Treat Street, play games, experience the haunted house, conquer the climbing wall, and skate the night away (bring skates). A family costume contest will take place with different age groups. It’s sure to be a night of family-friendly fun. Cost is $6. Kids 2 and under and non-skating/non-climbing parents are Free. October 21 from 5:30 PM to 9 PM at Parker Fieldhouse, 18700 E Plaza Drive, Parker, CO 80134

Parker Halloween Event Pumpkin Festival at Tagawa GardensTagawa Gardens Pumpkin Festival: Tagawa Gardens’ Pumpkin Festival has returned for 2017. Every weekend from October 7 to October 22, the nursery offers fun family friendly activities including the bat cave, pony rides, petting zoo, mini train rides, hayride, pumpkin decorating, spider craft, wild on water bubbles, obstacle course, and more. See their website for complete schedule as activities vary by day and weekend. Some activities are free while others require tickets. Tickets can be purchased on-site. October 7 & 8, October 14 & 15, and October 21 & 22 from 10 AM to 3 PM. Tagawa Gardens, 7711 South Parker Road, Centennial, CO 80016 (at the corner of Broncos Parkway and South Parker Road)

 

Top 12 Fast Classical Music Pieces


Classical music detractors might have you believe that the genre is made up of slow and boring tunes that will put you to sleep. While, sure, there are a fair number of slower tempo pieces including soft lullabies and peaceful preludes, there are also notable quick and lively selections perfect for energizing your workout, keeping you awake, and more. Here is our top 12 list of fast classical music pieces, many of which have become famous through their use in cartoons, TV ads, and more.

Glinka – Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture

The best-known music from Glinka’s opera is this overture, often described as rollicking and wickedly fast.

Chopin – Minute Waltz

The tempo marking of Chopin’s famous “Waltz in D-flat major” is molto vivace (or very lively). Its nickname, the “Minute” was actually intended to describe the piece as a “small” or “miniature” waltz. It was not intended to be played in under a minute. It’s still pretty fast, though.

Vivaldi – “Summer” from The Four Seasons

“The Four Seasons” is the best known of Vivaldi’s works and the Presto movement of Summer is definitely the fastest portion. This portion is intended to evoke images of a storm complete with thunder and hail.

Smetana – “Dance of the Comedians” from The Bartered Bride

The Dance of the Comedians is from Czech composer Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride”. You may recognize it though from the Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote cartoon “Fast and Furry-ous”.

Rimsky Korsakov – Flight of the Bumblebee

“Flight of the Bumblebee” was written as a small orchestral interlude for the opera “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” – music to entertain between acts. Today, it is far more famous as a standalone piece.

Popper – Dance of the Elves

Popper was both a cellist and a composer. His “Elfentanz” (Dance of the Elves) was written along with other short showpieces to highlight the cello’s incredible range and unique sound.

Khachaturian – Sabre Dance

The “Sabre Dance” is by far Khachaturian’s most recognizable work. It’s actually a movement in the final act of his ballet “Gayane”, but it has since been used in movies and even by ice skaters as music for their routines.

Liszt – Gnomenreigen

Part of Liszt’s “Two Concert Etudes”, Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes) is well-known among pianists for its technical difficulty and fast passages.

Vivaldi – Concerto for 2 Cellos in G Minor

Vivaldi only left one “double” concerto for cellos, but the cadenza-like opening is highly charged and often played very fast.

Paganini – Caprice No 5

You don’t have to search anywhere but Wikipedia to read why this made the list. It’s described as being “known for its incredible speed and extremely high technical difficulty”.

Corelli – Badinerie

Badinerie in French literally means jesting. In music, it generally refers to the quick, light movement in a suite. This selection by Corelli is part of his “Sarabande, Gigue, and Badinerie Suite for Strings”.

Barber – 3rd movement from his Violin Concerto

Barber’s violin concerto has three movements and it’s the last which stands out for its fast tempo. It was designed to show off the more brilliant and virtuosic nature of the violin.

 

The Story of Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral”


Sunken Church in TyrolIn 1909 and 1910, Claude Debussy wrote a series of 12 preludes for solo piano. Among them is the mysteriously titled, “La Cathédrale engloutie” which translates to The Submerged (or The Sunken) Cathedral. A quintessential example of musical impressionism, the piece depicts the rise of a cathedral from the water and subsequent return to the depths – complete with bells chiming, priests chanting, and organ playing.

While you may know the piece, did you know that it’s based on a real legend? The ancient Breton legend of Ys.

Legend of Ys

Ys was a mythical city said to have been on the coast of Brittany (Northwest France) in the Bay of Douarnenez. It was famous throughout the region for its beautiful gardens and buildings. Run by a king named Gradlon (or Gralon) who lived in a palace of marble, cedar, and gold, it was rich in commerce and the arts. It was also very vulnerable to flooding, being situated below sea level. To protect the city, a huge dike was built around it with a single gate that opened for ships during low tide.

The exact reason why Ys became submerged in the sea varies. There are many different versions of the legend. Most depict Gradlon as a pious, devoted king and father who was the holder of the only key to the city gate. His daughter, Dahut, on the other hand is usually described as a sinful, deceitful princess. In some versions, Princess Dahut holds a secret banquet for her lover and the two, drunk with wine, steal the key from her father and open the gates, letting the waters flood in. Another version says that Dahut steals the key to let her secret lover in to the city during the night, mistakenly flooding the city.

King Gradlon of Ys Statue in QuimperThere are also versions that involve the fight between Christianity and paganism, suggesting the cause of the city’s demise was due to everything from excessive luxury to sin and worship of pagan gods to Dahut taking the devil himself as her lover. In these versions, King Gradlon was said to have converted to Christianity. St Gwénnolé foretold of the city’s downfall and warned the king to flee. He agreed to do so, but devoted father as he was, he tried to save his daughter. A voice called out to throw his sinful daughter into the sea or he would not escape the waters that were about to overtake him. He does so and she turns into a mermaid.

All versions agree that Dahut does not escape her fate. Ys becomes submerged in the sea. King Gradlon escapes and takes refuge in Quimper which becomes the new capital. Interestingly, a statue of Gradlon still stands between the spires of the Cathedral of Saint Corentin in Quimper.

Breton folklore asserts that the bells of the churches of Ys can still be heard below the waters of the Bay of Douarnenez when it is calm, hence the inspiration for Debussy’s prelude.

A Pun For An Ending

Another related legend says that when Paris is swallowed, the city of Ys will rise again. Par-is means “like Ys” in Breton.

Debussy’s Depiction

The opening of the piece gently brings in the cathedral, out of the water, with a melody that resembles waves. Debussy wrote in Peu à peu sortant de la brume (Emerging from the fog little by little). Then after a section marked Augmentez progressivement (Slowly growing), the cathedral emerges and the grand organ is heard with a powerful fortissimo. This is the loudest part of the piece. The cathedral then sinks back down into the ocean and the organ is heard once more, but this time from under water. Finally, it is out of sight and only the bells are heard at a distant pianissimo.

Hear It For Yourself!

Join us on October 27, 2017 and hear us perform Stokowski’s arrangement of Debussy’s La Cathédrale engloutie along with other pieces perfect for the Halloween season. Tickets for “Sounds of the Deep” are available now.

 

Classical Music Near You – Our 2017-2018 Season

Small version of Parker Symphony Orchestra - all members

If you’re looking for classical music concerts near you and you live in the South Denver Metro area (Parker, Lone Tree, Centennial, Aurora, Englewood, Littleton), check out what the Parker Symphony has to offer!

We’ve announced our 2017-2018 season presented by Parker Arts and it’s full of amazing classical music you won’t want to miss.

Parker Symphony Orchestra 2017-2018 Season

Sounds Of The Deep: On October 27, the darker side of classical music creeps to the PACE Center. You’ll experience a wonderfully horrific combination of the strange and spacey, the heavy and the dissonant, and music so haunting it’s sure to keep you awake at night. Pieces include songs from Phantom of the Opera, Dvorak’s “The Water Goblin”, and Debussy’s “La Cathedrale Engloutie” (The Submerged Cathedral).

A Classic Parker Holiday: Performing along with the Parker Chorale, the PSO treats you to an evening of traditional carols, familiar songs, and some surprises to help you get into the spirit of the holidays. December 1, 2, and 3.

Gone too soon: Composers who died at a young age: A celebration of the genius of musical prodigies like Mozart, Gershwin, and Bizet who left the world far too soon. February 23, 2018

Grieg Piano Concerto and other Scandinavian favorites: Piano soloist Heidi Leathwood and the Parker Symphony will pay homage to Scandinavian composers who have inspired thousands of up-and-coming artists. May 11, 2018


Tickets are available now at the PACE Center online box office (https://parkerarts.ticketforce.com/), by phone at 303-805-6800 or in person at the PACE Center. Ticket prices range from $24-$29 per ticket.

What Is A Pops Orchestra?


Image courtesy of http://www.northshorepops.org/If you’ve attended orchestral performances or listened to classical music for any length of time, you’ve probably seen the terms “philharmonic”, “symphony”, and “chamber” in the names of various organizations. “Pops” is another common term (as in the Boston Pops or the Denver Pops Orchestra). The first three are used to denote different sized groups. A chamber orchestra is the smallest while “symphony” and “philharmonic” typically refer to groups large enough to play the great symphonies. “Philharmonic” is also a proper name used to distinguish orchestras in the same city.

“Pops” is another story. It refers to the type of music played by the group.

What is a pops orchestra?

Simply put, it is an orchestra that plays popular music as well as well-known classical works. They are groups that perform lighter classics, American favorites, popular music, show tunes, and film music. Many feel they are an alternative to the “highbrow” orchestras since they aren’t afraid to let their hair down a little. Of course, we here at the Parker Symphony aren’t afraid to let our hair down at times even though we don’t have the “pops” moniker.

Examples of pops orchestras

Examples include the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Denver Pops Orchestra (as mentioned before) as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the American Pops Orchestra, and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. These groups tend to have friendly relationships with the traditional professional orchestra in their city, often sharing members (although typically not the first chair players).

What music does a pops orchestra perform?

On the classical side, you may hear Strauss waltzes and polkas, overtures from composers like Rossini, Mozart, and von Suppé, and a movement or two from a famous Beethoven or Mozart symphony. On the popular side, you might hear the music of an iconic band like The Beatles, the music from a hit Broadway show like Hamilton, and movie themes from composers like John Williams, James Horner, Hans Zimmer, and Thomas Newman.

Pops Orchestras vs. Pops Concerts

Interestingly, critics of pops orchestras suggest that the fact that they are separate organizations has removed some of these more famous classics from traditional symphony orchestras’ repertoire which has hurt attendance. They tend to “remove some music whose principal reason for existence is pure entertainment”.

To answer this, traditional orchestras have been putting on more programs in the style of pops orchestras. Philharmonic orchestras and symphony orchestras have always occasionally played a pops concert here or there, but more recently, these organizations have found success in themed concerts and even playing a film score alongside the movie.

Even we here at the Parker Symphony perform pops concerts to help draw in new and different audiences. For example, our 2016 “PSO Goes To The Movies” concert included single movements from symphonies and short classics featured in films.

The Future Of Pops

Pops orchestras and concerts will probably always have a place. After all, to quote the New York Philharmonic’s vice president of artistic planning, “Not every subscription concert, week in and week out, should be so deadly serious.” Whether pops plays more or less of a role in the future is hard to say. For now, those who want to hear serious performances, there are always programs available featuring masterful concertos, full symphonies, and choral works. For those who are looking for lighter entertainment, check out the various pops orchestras and concerts in your area.


Classical Music Crossword Puzzle



Challenge yourself (or pass the time) with our classical music crossword puzzle.

Classical Music Crossword Puzzle

Across
2. J.S. ____
4. Richard or Johann
6. French for “study”
9. Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument
11. Percussion with keys arranged like a piano
15. 18th century ballroom dance in 3
16. Itzhak _______
17. Pizzicato abbreviation
18. “The Planets” composer
21. Liszt’s nationality
23. Lowest string instrument
26. Many woodwinds need 1 or 2
27. “The Trout ____” – Schubert
30. Loud
31. City where Mozart is buried
32. Device that supports strings
33. Moderately slow tempo
34. All together

Down
1. Beethoven’s 6th Symphony Nickname
3. Composer of 106 symphonies
5. Flared part of many brass instruments
7. Toccata & _____
8. Mozart’s and Verdi’s are famous
9. Dvorak’s nationality
10. Opening to opera, ballet, etc.
12. Appalachian Spring composer
13. Chopin composed primarily for the…
14. A conductor’s stick
19. Musical era from 1600-1750
20. Also called Kettle Drums
22. Composition inspired by night
24. A lullaby often in 6/8 time
25. Famous Italian violin maker
28. Brass instrument with a slide
29. In The Hall Of The Mountain ____

Printing Instructions

  • Right click on the image and choose Save. Save to your computer.
  • Open in any image program
  • Change your print settings to print “Landscape”
  • Print

or

  • Right click on the image and choose Copy (or Copy Image)
  • Open Microsoft Word and a new blank document
  • Change the Layout to Landscape
  • Click on the document and hit CTRL and V at the same time
  • Print

 

What Is A Concerto Grosso?

Baroque Instruments

If you’ve ever listened to baroque music (think Vivaldi, Corelli, Handel, etc.), you’ve probably seen the term Concerto Grosso and wondered, “What is that?” Well, as you can probably guess, it does not mean the concerto is gross.

Concerto grosso (or the plural concerti grossi) is Italian for “big concerto”. Unlike a solo concerto where a single solo instrument plays the melody line and is accompanied by the orchestra, in a concerto grosso, a small group of soloists passes the melody between themselves and the orchestra or a small ensemble.

The group of soloists (or soli, concertino, or principale) was often made up of two violins, a bass melody instrument such as a cello, and a harmony instrument such as a harpsichord. Wind instruments were also common. The orchestra (or tutti or ripieno) was usually a string orchestra or a small ensemble of strings, often with a few woodwinds or brass added.

Concerti grossi were very common in the Baroque era (1600-1750). Right around 1750 (just after Handel composed his Concerti Grossi, Op. 6 with 12 different concerti), the solo concerto became the more popular musical form and the concerto grosso all but disappeared. Interestingly, a few 20th century composers like Igor Stravinsky, Philip Glass, and Henry Cowell have revived the form.

Listen to Corelli’s Concerto Grosso op. 6 no. 8 below and see if you can spot the concertino vs. the ripieno.

 

10 Badass Pieces Of Classical Music


We’ve all heard it. The jokes about classical music putting people to sleep. Sure, some pieces are great for studying, meditation, weddings, and solemn events, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this genre. If all classical music were soft, quiet, and relaxing, orchestra life would be pretty boring especially for the percussion and brass sections. Forte would be a rare dynamic. Fortissimo an impossibility. And audiences would be very hard to come by – unless, of course, they were trying to catch some zzz’s.

So why do people say that about classical music? Maybe it’s because they just haven’t heard the more rousing pieces. Maybe they only remember the softer side of classical because that’s all they hear at weddings. Regardless of the reason, here’s a list of badass classical music that shatters the stereotype.


  • Orff – Carmina Burana / “O Fortuna”

  • Holst – The Planets, Mars

  • Verdi – Requiem “Dies Irae”

  • Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries

  • Vivaldi – The Four Seasons: Summer Mvt. 3 Presto

  • Bizet – Carmen Overture / Les Toreadors

  • Mussorgsky – Night on Bald Mountain

  • Verdi – Il Trovatore / “Anvil Chorus”

  • Khachaturian – Sabre Dance

  • Strauss – Also Sprach Zarathustra, Prelude

 

Honorable Mentions (in case you want to check out more):

  • Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture
  • Shostakovich – Symphony No 5, Mvt 4
  • Bruckner – Symphony No 1, Mvt 3
  • Grieg – In The Hall Of The Mountain King
  • Dvorak – Symphony No 9, Mvt 4
  • Mozart – Requiem in D minor, Dies Irae
  • Bizet – L’Arlésienne Suite No 2, Mvt 4 (Farandole)
  • Saint-Saëns – Symphony No 3, Mvt 3 and 4
  • Beethoven – Symphony No 9, Mvt 4
  • Glinka – Overture from Ruslan and Ludmilla
  • Holst – The Planets, Jupiter
  • Mozart – Symphony No 25, Mvt 1
  • Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor
  • Smyth – The Wreckers (Overture)