If music and dance are languages of love, the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra will express its fluency in those amorous tongues on Valentine's Day at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St. The WSO presents "Invitation to Dance," a masterworks concert featuring compositions by Bartok, Prokofiev, Debussy and de Falla, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14.
Maestro Gerardo Edelstein selected pieces with an ear for the theme of love.
" 'Romeo and Juliet' by [Sergei] Prokofiev is all about the power and agony of love," Edelstein said. "Debussy's 'Afternoon of a Faun' is about seduction and sensuality and de Falla's 'Three-Cornered Hat' suite is about jealousy and genuine love in a much lighter way."
The WSO will perform “Invitation to Dance” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.
The Prokofiev and de Falla were written for ballet, while the Debussy piece is based on a poem by Stephane Mallarme. Bela Bartok's "Rumanian Dances," based on Transylvanian folk tunes, was originally written as a six-part piano suite and later scored for orchestra.
WSO Executive Director Reuben Councill is the night's featured performer.
"The thing about a concert like this is that the audience should expect to find all levels of energy and emotion from this group of selections," Councill said. "The Bartok will have fast and exciting moments and exotic slow musings. (The Debussy) is just beautiful and deeply satisfying. De Falla will likely be a new composer for many ... the audience will love the chance to hear his lush Spanish-flavored romantic composition."
Manuel de Falla, a Spaniard, based "The Three-Cornered Hat" on a novella by Pedro Antonio de Alarcon. The ballet was commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev, one of Igor Stravinsky's frequent sponsors, and completed in 1919.
Prokofiev is perhaps most well known in the United States for composing "Peter and the Wolf" but "Romeo and Juliet" has been performed by a number of world-class ballets since its 1935 debut.
Councill is very familiar with his featured piece, Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun." It is an audition staple for flautists.
"This will be the second time in my career to perform (Debussy) with an orchestra," said the soloist. "The first time was with the Rome Festival Orchestra in Italy back in 1994. I'm happy to say that as a member of the WSO, I have a much better group to play with this time."
The orchestra has four practices together before the performance.
"This is pretty standard with what other orchestras do around the country," Edelstein said.
"The pieces on this program are extremely demanding both musically and technically," Councill added. "We all generally spend about two months prior to the performance individually practicing our parts."
Edelstein anticipates a wonderful evening of music.
"This concert will be full of intensity, luster, beauty and excitement and a level of energy that will leave the audience at the end wanting more," the Maestro said.
Floor tickets are $45 and $35, balcony tickets are $10, and seniors and students receive a discount. Tickets may be bought at caclive.com or at the CAC?box office.