Gioachino Rossini: L'italiana d'Algeri – Ouverture
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro, K. 492 – Deh vieni, non tardar;
Don Giovanni, K. 527 – Là ci darem la mano
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, D. 485
Gioachino Rossini: La gazza ladra – Ouverture
Gaetano Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore – Uni furtiva lagrima
Antonín Dvořák: Legend in B-flat minor, Op. 59/10;
Slavonic dance No. 9, Op. 72/1
Giuseppe Verdi: I vespri siciliani – Mercè, dilette amiche
Zoltán Kodály: Dances of Galánta
In ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ from Donizetti’s comedy L’elisir d’amore shy Nemorino sees his beloved Adina weeping and senses that she loves him. In the so-called Boléro from Verdi’s I vespri siciliani (written in French, but usually performed in Italian), Hélène asks her friends to join with her in celebrating her wedding. In his brilliant overtures – such as the jocular L’italiana in Algeri, or the military-sounding La gazza ladra – Rossini provided durable orchestral showpieces.
In the complex final act of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro the title-character’s new bride Susanna sings an invitation to her lover – ostensibly the Count, but in reality aimed at Figaro himself. In a duet from Don Giovanni, the serial seducer deceives another young women into believing his intentions honourable, but does so with considerable charm.
Schubert’s Fifth Symphony, composed in 1816, takes Mozart as its model. Its third movement is a healthy minuet, and dance rhythms permeate, too, most of the remaining pieces in tonight’s programme. Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance Op.71, No.1 is in the unusual Slovak form of the ‘odzemok’, traditionally danced by a solo man, and even in the slow, sorrowful final example of his more lyrical ten Legends there are clear dancelike elements.
But this last feature reaches its apogee in the Hungarian Zoltán Kodály’s Dances of Galánta, a thrilling evocation of folk music from a town whose long famous gypsy band is memorialised in this exciting 1933 collection.