Few composers have mastered the translation of theatrical drama into music as superbly as Tchaikovsky. His Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture has it all: tenderness, feistiness, passion, tragedy, and humor. Richard Strauss is credited with advancing the tone-poem concept (introduced by Liszt) to its apex. He described his work on Macbeth as a completely new path and spent more time on it than any of his other tone poems. Mark Salman is well known to Northwest audiences, being a champion of the romantic piano repertoire as well as an advocate of hidden gems. It was therefore no surprise that Mark chose a rarely performed piece by the great pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni. The American ethnomusicologist Natalie Curtis Burlin provided Busoni with melodies and rhythms she had collected from her research with Native American tribes. The result is the Indian Fantasy, a fascinating journey and merging of two worlds finding a voice in the universality of the piano.
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