Compact Discoveries®
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited
by Fred Flaxman

©2014 by Fred Flaxman

Program 235
"Lesser-Known Don Quixotes"

MUSIC: excerpt from Kara Karayev: Don Quixote (Symphonic Engravings): Cavalcade, performed by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dmitry Yabonsky [Naxos 8.570720, Track 12]  [under the following]

Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman. I recently devoted an hour to well-known music inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote. This hour will be devoted to lesser-known music inspired by this character, one of the most famous in all fiction.

This first hour featured Don Quixote, Opus 35, by Richard Strauss, and two excerpts from the musical, Man of La Mancha. If you missed that program, you can always stream it on demand at compactdiscoveries.com. Look for program number 234.

This hour will begin with Don Quixote — Humoresque for Orchestra, Op. 87, by Anton Rubinstein. Then we’ll listen together to Don Quixote (Symphonic Engravings), written in 1960 by the Azerbaijani composer Kara Karayev, who was a student of Shostakovich. Finally we’ll hear Una Aventura de Don Quijote, written in 1916 by Jesús Guridi.

MUSIC: fades out

Anton Rubinstein’s Don Quixote was written in 1870. The work starts with the chivalrous ambitions of Don Quixote, and then reflects his love for the imagined Dulcinea del Toboso. It continues through various mistaken adventures to his death, a moment of final pathos.

In this Naxos recording the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Michael Halász.

MUSIC: Anton Rubinstein: Don Quixote — Humoresque for Orchestra, Op. 87, performed by the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Halász. [Naxos 8.555394, Track 5]  [21:09]

Anton Rubinstein’s, Don Quixote — Humoresque for Orchestra, performed by the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Halász.

You are listening to lesser-known music inspired by the Spanish novel Don Quixote on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one-minute break not included in the program timing]

The Azerbaijani composer Kara Karayev, who lived from 1918 until 1982, was a student and good friend of Dmitri Shostakovich. He wrote nearly 110 compositions, including ballets, operas, symphonic, and chamber pieces, piano solos, cantatas, songs, and marches. He rose to prominence not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the rest of the Soviet Union and worldwide.

During the Cold War, in June, 1961, Karayev and Tikhon Khrennikov were the only two Soviet composers to attend the first international Los Angeles Music Festival, held at UCLA. A year later he became a member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and visited the U.S., Ethiopia, and Lebanon. Karayev suffered from heart disease and died in Moscow at the age of 64.

His Don Quixote (Symphonic Engravings), sometimes translated as Symphonic Sketches, was composed in 1960. In this Naxos compact disc recording, the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Dmitry Yablonsky.

MUSIC: Kara Karayev: Don Quixote (Symphonic Engravings), performed by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dmitry Yabonsky [Naxos 8.570720, Tracks 6-13]

Don Quixote by Kara Karayev. The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Dmitry Yablonsky.

You are listening to lesser-known music inspired by the Spanish novel Don Quixote on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one-minute break not included in the program timing]

Our final work on this hour is Una Aventura de Don Quijote written in 1916 by Jesús Guridi.  Guridi was a Spanish Basque composer who lived from 1886 until 1961.

The 300th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes in 1916 was the occasion for a competition for a symphonic composition. Guridi entered Una aventura de Don Quijote, and it received second prize.

Guridi chose to focus on the battles that Don Quixote engaged in. The various opponents are represented by appropriate folk themes. The work takes on religious colors when Don Quixote meets two monks, but their meeting unexpectedly turns into a dispute. Don Quixote’s personality is expressed either by the noble sounds of the brass or by the melancholy phrases of the cello, depending on his success or failure.

In this Claves compact disc the Basque National Orchestra is conducted by Miguel A. Gómez Martinez.

MUSIC: Guridi: Una aventura de Don Quijote, performed by the Basque National Orchestra conducted by Miguel A. Gómez Martinez [Claves CD 50-9709, Track 12]  [11:28]

Jesús Guridi’s Una aventura de Don Quijote, performed by the Basque National Orchestra conducted by Miguel A. Gómez Martinez.

And that concludes this hour of lesser-known music inspired by the most famous Spanish novel ever written, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. I hope you enjoyed the music. If you missed part of the program or would like to hear it again, you can stream it on demand at compactdiscoveries.com. This is program number 235. And this is your guide to Compact Discoveries, Fred Flaxman, thanking you for listening.

MUSIC: excerpt from Kara Karayev: Don Quixote (Symphonic Engravings): Cavalcade, performed by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dmitry Yabonsky [Naxos 8.570720, Track 12]

ANNOUNCER (Tana Flaxman): Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by an anonymous donor from Palm Beach, Florida. And by the financial support of Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz, Art and Eva Stevens, and ArkivMusic dot com, the online store for classical music CDs, DVDs, downloads, and over 10,000 on-demand reissued titles. That’s A-r-k-i-v Music dot com.

Program Ends at 58:00