Preu-led symphony pays tribute to Titanic
“Unsinkable!” That’s what the designers and builders of the Titanic claimed. On an April night in 1912, Titanic struck an iceberg and sank into the cold waters of the North Atlantic.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, music director Eckart Preu and the Spokane Symphony will present the final SuperPops concert of the season, “A Night to Remember – Titanic.”
Preu, a noted storyteller, has been collecting information from many sources and will share his findings with the audience during the concert.
“I found a lot of stuff online,” Preu said in an email exchange. “I also have a couple of books on the topic. There’s a lot of music on YouTube including the White Star Line Songbook.”
Preu also mentioned Spokane connections to the Titanic disaster Preu mentioned: passengers John and Lizzie Chapman, Margaret Rice and her five children, Johan Svensson Lundahl and Agda Thorilda Viktoria Lindahl.
“There’s another connection, but that’s a secret to be revealed during the concert,” he added.
Preu has selected a variety of music, including film scores such as James Horner’s “Titanic,” Richard Rodgers’ “Victory at Sea,” and Erich Korngold’s “The Seahawk.”
Light classical music from the age of Titanic will include “The Merry Widow Overture” by Franz Lehar, “The Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss, and Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 2 in E minor.
“There’s also going to be a portion with small ensemble and piano, to give the more intimate feel of what the musicians on board would have done and sounded like,” Preu said.
Music for this part will include such popular works as “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin, “Glow Worm” from the operetta “Lysistrata” by Paul Lincke, and an arrangement by Hans Peter Preu of Lowell Mason’s hymn “Nearer My God to Thee” which is thought to be the last work played by the musicians on Titanic before it sank.
The Titanic passenger list included many Irish emigrants who were housed mostly in third class accommodations. To honor these victims and survivors, the symphony will play an arrangement of music from the immensely popular review “Lord of the Dance.”
The concert will conclude with a full orchestra arrangement of Irving Berlin’s “A Symphonic Picture.” Berlin’s first huge success “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” was from this era.
Donivan Johnson, who lives in Metaline Falls, Wash., is a composer, lecturer and music instructor for the Selkirk School District.