Rain, River, Sea featuring Debussy's La Mer: UMD Symphony Orchestra • IN-PERSON

Rain, River, Sea featuring Debussy's La Mer • IN-PERSON

UMD Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, May 4, 2024 • 8PM
Photo by David Andrews.

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Program Notes: 


David Neely, music director

Dive in the UMD Symphony Orchestra's season finale concert, featuring Robert Gibson's Through the Ear of a Raindrop, Bedrich Smetana's The Moldau, and Claude Debussy's La Mer. Each piece explores a different aspect of water, evoking its beauty, power and mystery.

Originally composed for The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center's inaugural season, Through the Ear of a Raindrop was premiered by the UMD Symphony Orchestra in 2002. It returns to Dekelboum this season in honor of Professor Robert Gibson's retirement. Gibson has been a faculty member since 1980 and served as the School of Music's director for many years.

Smetana's symphonic poem, The Moldau, invokes the flow of the Vltava River—or, in German, the Moldau—from its source in the mountains of the Bohemian Forest, through the Czech countryside, to the city of Prague. This piece captures in music Smetana’s love of his homeland.

The concert closes with La Mer, a masterwork of musical impressionism in which Debussy seamlessly paints an instrumental picture of the sea, exploring its tumultuous and fluid nature. From the serenity of still waters to the insurmountable power of crashing waves amidst a storm, this piece invites you to dive deep into the heart of the ocean's mysteries.


Robert Gibson: Through the Ear of a Raindrop for Orchestra
Bedrich Smetana: The Moldau


Debussy: La Mer, trois equisses symphoniques


Through its committed and polished performances under the baton of David NeelyUMSO is dedicated to the power of musical communication. In its repertoire, the orchestra explores the intersection between traditional symphonic masterworks and marginalized works from various eras, with many programs featuring composers of diverse backgrounds.