Alaina Viau, stage director & designer
Jennifer Nichols, dancer & choreographer
Derek Boyes, narrator
TSO Chamber Soloists
Collaborative Artistic Partner: Loose Tea Music Theatre
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Stravinsky: L’Histoire du Soldat
Two works composed during the primary wars of the twentieth century make up this intriguing program. Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (1918) retells the Faust legend, in which the hero sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for the promise of wisdom and good fortune. Stravinsky called for a chamber ensemble and a narrator. The tart, witty and rhythmically intricate score displays several influences: Russian folk song, Romani fiddlers, klezmer music, the popular music of Spain, and the composer’s recent exposure to jazz. This program gives you the rare opportunity to hear the suite from Aaron Copland’s magical and heart-warming ballet score Appalachian Spring (1944) in its transparent original theatrical version for a chamber ensemble of 13 players, rather than the better-known edition for full orchestra, led by TSM Artistic Director Jonathan Crow. The ballet’s original scenario, set in Pennsylvania during the early nineteenth century, focused on a young pioneer couple who are contemplating the challenges of their new life together. Copland memorably quoted, and composed variations on, a Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts, as the heart of the score.