Lords of the Ring
Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 7, 2023, 2:30 p.m.
André Raphel, guest conductor
Notes from André Raphel, guest conductor
Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings & Richard Wagner’s The Ring: Side-by-Side
This weekend’s 2022-2023 season finale performances feature music by two composers, Howard Shore and Richard Wagner, both of whom were taken by the concept of “The Ring.” In point of fact, the unique juxtaposition of these two composers’ music has rarely been presented to illuminate this concept.
Howard Shore’s beloved film music composed for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy including, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King bring to life the powers of the ring. The films are based on the masterpiece by the English writer, J.R.R. Tolkien. A new 2022 tv series, “The Rings of Power,” seeks to further explore the mysteries behind the legend.
Richard Wagner’s, Der Ring des Nibelungen consists of four of Wagner’s greatest operas. This magnum opus took Wagner 28 years to compose and rehearse. It was finally performed for the first time in 1876.
The four operas of The Ring cycle are: Das Rhinegold (The Rhine Gold), Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods.) Each year in Bayreuth, Germany the city where Wagner had a theater built for presentation of The Ring operas, the cycle is presented.
The works of The Ring cycle are loosely based on German heroic legend, namely Norse legendary sagas. The complete Ring cycle takes place over four nights of opera performances, with some 15 hours of playing by the orchestra. You might say, it’s a herculean endeavor!
This program essentially comprises the “greatest hits” by Shore and Wagner from these two epic bodies of work. No doubt you’ll recognize favorites such as Concerning Hobbits and The Shadow of the Past. Shore’s music is so delightfully descriptive of the film’s elements.
The program begins with Wagner’s famous Ride of the Valkyries. It sets the stage for what will be some very exciting performances. Siegfried’s Rhine Journey represents Wagner at his best and Wotan’s Farewell is pure magic. The MSO and I hope you enjoy this experience which given the featured works by Shore and Wagner, will truly be like no other.
André Raphel, guest conductor
André Raphel appeared with the Mobile Symphony as guest conductor in a 2018 concert featuring cellist Zuill Bailey in Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Acclaimed for his creative programming and versatility, he is renowned for his compelling musical performances. A dynamic podium presence, he has also developed a reputation as a skilled communicator. Raphel has led critically acclaimed festivals, world premieres and commissioned works by Richard Danielpour, Jennifer Higdon, Kenneth Fuchs, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Uri Caine and Hannibal Lokumbe.
Conductor Laureate of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, André Raphel led the orchestra as Music Director for 15 years. Other key positions have included, Assistant Conductor to Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic for two years. He was Assistant Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra for six years. Raphel served for three years as Assistant Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony.
Raphel enjoys an active career as guest conductor. During the 2021-22 season, André Raphel appeared with the Youngstown Symphony and Hudson Valley Philharmonic among others. In recent seasons, he has appeared with the Detroit Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and San Antonio Symphony. He has appeared with most of the major American orchestras including Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. Raphel has led Germany’s Bamberg Symphony in two recordings for Bavarian Broadcasting. He made his Los Angeles debut conducting at the gala opening of The Broad museum. A recording of Uri Caine’s Passion of Octavius Catto with Raphel conducting has garnered acclaim.
Read the full biography here.
Anne LowBuy Tickets