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about the program

mittently on Prince igor from 1869 until his death, but even in those eighteen years he was unable to complete the opera, which was finished by rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov, who worked from the composer’s sketches. Although Prince igor is rarely staged, some of the music from the opera has become famous on its own. The Polovtsian Dances were written at an early stage in the composition of the opera—in 1875—and first performed in March 1879; they had become popular while Borodin was still laboring on the rest of the opera. The Dances form the Finale of Act ii of the opera. Prince igor and his son have been captured by the leader of the Polovtsians, the mighty Khan Kontchak, who tries to cheer up his prisoners by offering them gifts, women from his harem, or even release if Prince igor will promise to lay down his arms. When these offers are refused, Kontchak orders a brilliant entertainment for Prince igor, whom he greatly respects. Slaves enter to a brief Andantino, and the first dance quickly begins. The women slaves sing of the beauty of their homeland in music that is familiar to millions from the operetta Kismet, where it became the song Stranger in Paradise. This is followed by a savage dance for the men, given out first by a swirling solo clarinet. The timpani leads to the general dance: themes from the earlier dances are reprised as all sing of their devotion to their leader, the music gradually mounts in excitement, and the curtain to the second act comes down as slaves and dancers shout out “Hail Khan Kontchak!” While the Polovtsian Dances are accompanied by chorus in Borodin’s opera, it has become customary to play them as a purely orchestral work in which the choral part is duplicated by the orchestra. The Dances are heard in their orchestral version at this concert. - Program notes by eric Bromberger StAtE SYMPHOnY ORcHEStRA OF MéxIcO on August 27, 1971, at the initiative of Maestro enrique Bátiz and the State Government of México, the orquesta Sinfónica del estado de México was founded by that entity, which aims to promote music as a means of union and identification among Mexicans. Based in the city of Toluca, the orchestra was characterized from the outset by its efforts to bring its message to all corners of the republic. over 40 years of existence, the orquesta Sinfónica del estado de México has appeared in concert with a large number of guest conductors and soloists from among the finest of the planet. The foreign conductors who have led to the orquesta Sinfónica del estado de México include Leon Barzin, Kurt Woess, Jose iturbi, Piero Gamba, and Joel Levi. According to the aim of promoting new creations and to make known to the public some works that have not yet

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StAtE SYMPHOnY ORcHEStRA OF MéxIcO

come to regular repertory concerts, the orquesta Sinfónica del estado de México premiered Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky in orchestrating Gortchakoff; concerto piano, in Memoriam and the suite of Loris Tjeknavorian Ararat; The meeting of the new Spain of italian Ferrero and reflections of a Poet (Tribute to nezahualcoyotl), newly commissioned work by Mexican composer revueltas roman. in the discography of the orquesta Sinfónica del estado de México, recordings devoted to the overtures of Verdi and rossini deserve special mention, to the music of Mexico and Spain, with outstanding composers Joaquin rodrigo and isaac Albeniz but above all, the comprehensive series of Beethoven symphonies, Schumann, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Both the orchestra and its artistic director have received the Annual Award Mexican union of Theatre and Music, awarded for the 25 years of existence, and for the promotion of musical activities in Mexico. in 1975, the orquesta Sinfónica del estado de México made its first tour of the united States, where it returned for three consecutive years, performing in major cities. it made its first appearance in 2002 in the prestigious european Festival of Schleswig-Holstein at Germany. in 2003, the orquesta Sinfónica del estado de México made its second foray into europe, presenting six concerts with great success in Spain, Poland, Germany and France. in 2005, the orchestra traveled to the city of Paris, France, to present two concerts at the Salle Gaveau and Theatre Mogador accompanied by soloists Filomena Moretti, Mark Zeltser and Koh Kameda, with an overwhelming success. in September of 2005, seven concerts were performed on a tour of the People's republic of china in cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Shenyang and Harbin. in January 2006, the orchestra gave six concerts in Spain, including the international Festival of Seville "entreculturas" in addition to Madrid, Zaragoza and Albacete. in 2008, the orquesta Sinfónica del estado de México performed the most extensive of its tours, this time in the

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