New Philharmonic starts its season with Halloween Spooktakular

It almost seems like we don't need to celebrate Halloween this year, considering the amount of scary information that we encounter almost on a daily basis. However, there are musicians and entertainment professionals that agree that having live classical music events and particularly presenting themed concerts can give both the performers and their audiences a feeling of returning back to old normal times. Among them are Maestro Kirk Muspratt and the members of the New Philharmonic, who tremendously miss their audiences and who are happy to start the orchestra's 2021-2022 concert season with a concert program called Halloween Spooktakular. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 2, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 3 at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn.

After all, it's all about music. For Maestro Kirk Muspratt and for the orchestra, it's about reconnecting with their audience and exchanging energy between the musicians and the music lovers. For the audience, it's about seeing Maestro Muspratt on the podium, about his charisma, about hearing his jokes and, of course, about the brilliance of the sounds produced by this fantastic orchestra. It's about living life - full of charming sounds and breathtaking passages. It's about joy.

This time, this joy will be related to Halloween. Conducted by Maestro Muspratt, this concert program will bring on stage old classical masterpieces as well as themes from your favorite horror cinema classics. As the MAC says on its website, all these musical pieces are "guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat." It sounds super exciting and spooky, considering that the members of the New Philharmonic orchestra will be performing in costumes, and the audience members are welcome to dress up for these two concerts as well.

This concert program will present one of the most popular works in orchestral literature - "Night on Bald Mountain" by Modest Mussorgsky and arranged by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The energy of this composition will set up just the right mood for the concert. Mussorgsky was inspired by the ancient Russian legend of nocturnal revels that take place on St. John's Night in June on a hill called Lys'a Hora near Kiev. After trying several times to realize his ideas, he finally turned the music into what he called a "tone-picture" for orchestra in 1867. However, the score was put aside when critics voiced their disapproval.

Mussorgsky himself realized that his composition needed more revisions, and in a 1867 letter to Rimsky-Korsakov he wrote: "I should like us to examine the orchestration together (...) we might clear up many things." In 1886, five years after Mussorgsky's death, Rimsky-Korsakov undertook the revisions and re-orchestration of this composition. It was performed on October 27, 1886 in St. Petersburg as "A Night on Bald Mountain."

This concert program will also feature French Romantic composer and conductor Louis-Hector Berlioz. The orchestra will perform "Dream of a Witches Sabbath," an unforgettable piece which is the fifth and the final part of the composer's Symphonie Fantastique. This was the first of four symphonies that Berlioz composed, and it differs significantly from the norms established by Beethoven for the symphonic form. The critics believe that Berlioz moved the symphony into a storytelling process, but what kind of a story does he tell us in this composition? Surprisingly enough, it's his personal story - his ill passion for Irish actress Harriet Smithson, whom he eventually married for a short time. "Dream of a Witches Sabbath" is the culmination of a sad story about a young man whose love was unanswered, which is brilliantly demonstrated in the music.

Another masterpiece written by Berlioz, "Hungarian March from The Damnation of Faust," or "La damnation de Faust," will impress every member of the audience. Berlioz called this opera a "légende dramatique," or dramatic legend. The famous Hungarian March concludes the first of the four parts of the opera. The composer based it on a song written by János Bihari, who used a Hungarian folk melody and wrote it in honor of Ferenc Rákóczi, a Hungarian military leader and politician. Berlioz purposely changed the locale of his Faust from Germany to Austria, just to include the march in his version of the legend. Many of you will recognize this music as it is extremely popular and is frequently performed.

Seems like enough of fun and unforgettable masterpieces, right? No, it's not enough, as the orchestra has also prepared for you such notable music as tunes from "Dracula," "The Addams Family," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," "Psycho" and "The Mummy Returns." Get ready to fly on the waves of this intriguing and mysterious music and exchange the energy with the conductor and the musicians.

"We look forward to seeing you and engaging in thought-provoking, joy-inducing, exciting LIVE entertainment. I look forward to seeing you back at the MAC soon," wrote Director of The MAC Diana Martinez, in the announcement of The MAC live and in-person programming for this season.

We live during unprecedented times, and the fact that The MAC and the New Philharmonic are bringing their live shows back to the stage deserves respect and appreciation. I would like to end this article with the quote by Modest Mussorgsky: "Life, wherever it reveals itself; truth, no matter how bitter; bold, sincere speech with people - these are my leaven, these are what I want, this is where I am afraid of missing the mark." Let's not miss the opportunity to meet our favorite orchestra, as our life and our circumstances can change, but our love for music can't. It will stay with us forever.

For tickets, please go to: https://<URL destination=" "> & orgid=50389&&_wcsid=9031EF6BC65A40749195A36D2291B229E5B893C2A2997D84#/?event=halloween & view=list & includePackages=false

</URL>Tickets are $53 for adults and $51 for seniors.

For COVID Health and Safety Policies, please go to:

For added safety and comfort, The MAC is limiting seating capacity for all shows.

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