Spotlight Columns

Folsom Symphony kicks off 10th season with free EDH concert

By From page B2 | September 18, 2013

Town Center will be the setting for an evening of great music and culture this Thursday, Sept. 19, as the Folsom Symphony kicks off a decade of bringing beautiful music to the region. 

Free concert

Bring your chairs to enjoy this outdoor concert. And what a concert it will be…no “mini sampler concert” this. It is a full evening of classics, pops and fun.

John Williams’ “Flying Theme” from “E.T. – the Extra Terrestrial” opens the evening off with an inspirational note from the Silver Screen.

Opera classics soon follow, with the “Aragonaise” and “Les Toréadores” from Bizet’s “Carmen” and Verdi’s “Triumphal March” from “Aïda.”

More music from film and Broadway: themes from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Chicago,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Magnificent Seven” and “Star Wars.”

There’s even a Souza march: “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

If you’ve never attended a concert by the Folsom Symphony, by all means attend this one. This is a showcase of a decade of accomplishments. 


The first official concert of the season kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Harris Center for the Arts (formerly known as Three Stages) in Folsom. The theme is “Titans,” and what grand pieces of music these are, by some of the great romantic composers.

Richard Wagner made musical history during the Victorian age. He showed that the melodies of opera should follow the meaning of the story, whether beautiful, ugly, hideous, gentle or angry. In short, he pioneered what we take for granted today as “the soundtrack” of entertainment.

The overture from “Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen (Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes)” is from Wagner’s first great producing period. Produced at Dresden in 1842, the opera was based on a novel of the same name by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. While well received, some people complained that parts of the opera were not “pretty.” Wagner responded that the music fitted the story, which in itself was not always “pretty.”

This overture is among Wagner’s most beautiful, filled with leitmotifs telling the tale of Cola di Rienzi, a late medieval populist who opposes the rulers of his day…with tragic results. (It’s an opera, after all).

Lovers of Broadway will recognize the “Polovtsian Dances” from Alexander Borodin’s opera “Prince Igor.” You know these themes as “Stranger in Paradise” and the other songs from “Kismet.”

This work could have been lost to history, as it was unfinished when Borodin died in 1887. Fortunately for us, his good friends, Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov Alexander Glazunov completed the score. They were good friends of Borodin’s and were with him, quite literally, as he composed the entire work on his piano. They wrote it all down from memory, and presented “Prince Igor” to the world in 1890.

Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony No. 1 ‘Titan’” will close out the evening. In addition to being an accomplished pianist and composer, this Bohemian was also a noted conductor. (Mahler eventually conducted the Vienna Court Opera, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera Company). A devotee of the great composers, Mahler was well known for the excellence of his Mozart and Wagner productions.

“Titan” follows in Mahler’s vision of varied and grandiose music that “reflected the whole world” in his view. 

Don’t wait

Season tickets are still available. Every concert sold out last season, and I expect this season to be no different. For tickets call (916) 916-608-6888 or visit Also visit 

Send your event for consideration in Susan’s column to [email protected]

Susan Laird


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