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San Miguel International Symphony presents famous harpist from Moscow Larissa Fedorova

By Antonio Cabrero

Saturday, October 12, 7pm at Teatro Ángela Peralta, marks the start of the orchestra’s fall season concerts; the first concert of the series is a tribute to impressionism, featuring the works of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, both of whom were influenced greatly by the impressionist painters of France and their revolutionary concepts in painting.

San Miguel International Symphony with Larissa Fedoroya
Sat, Oct 12, 7pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta

Paris, France, end of the 19th century, Debussy and Ravel managed to translate those new ideas into music.

This period in art history represents one of the most important periods in which the sublime art of painting literally opens the windows for the music composers to look at new landscapes, new lights and colors, new clouds and shades and new pathways to follow.

Great friendships were bonded between composers and painters; many, many café discussions and debates were setting up new philosophies about painting and music as really being one and the same.

It is a strange feeling for us, as musicians, that in staring at an impressionist painting, we cannot help hearing a certain music that the painting evokes. It is as if the canvas is producing the music, it is as if the canvas was painted music and all it takes for a musician is to look at it and hear the painting. Of course not only musicians do that, everybody hears the impressionist paintings. Those paintings in fact come from music the artist was hearing in his head. Lets remember that at the time, there was no way to hear music except when played live, they had to imagine it, and it is imagery that brings forth music and painting and all creative activity.

Nowadays, most of my friends who paint do so listening to music, so they are setting music in a canvas in frozen form… then we musicians will look at their paintings and be inspired and create the music contained in a painting. We could go on and on about the perfect symbiosis of music and painting.

This is the reason why the symphony celebrates and makes a special invitation to painters and gallery owners to come and hear Debussy and Ravel above any other composers we have been featuring in our concerts.

Debussy and Ravel are the most respected painters with music, certainly the two composers who were lucky enough to be right there in Paris when the impressionist movement began and shocked the world of painting.

It was because of Debussy and Ravel that impressionism had a tremendous impact in musical tradition, an impact of such magnitude that music and its sister, art painting, will never be the same

This brings to my mind Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an exhibition composed a few years earlier. Debussy and Ravel were already discovering in Mussorgsky the new harmonies and the free forms needed to do away with classical music tradition, it had to be an exotic Russian masterpiece based on paintings that started it all.

For this incredibly delicate music we have asked our soloists to form a unique ensemble, a very colorful one as needed for impressionism, a style based very much in soft instruments as the harp, so with Larissa’s masterful harp playing, all the ingredients are there for a banquet. We hope to influence painters to produce many beautiful works of art, as they have spoiled all of us as to what to expect from them in this town. After all, they have chosen San Miguel because, quite simply, it is the best town in the world to paint.


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