Transport yourself to Nights in the Gardens of Spain. Manuel de Falla's composition originally began as a set of nocturnes for solo piano, which evolved into a piano and orchestra piece. This work depicts three gardens in three movements: In the Generalife, the jasmine-scented gardens surrounding the Alhambra (a palace-fortress complex); A Distant Dance, an unidentified garden in which there is an exotic dance; and In the Gardens of the Sierra de Córdoba, the third set of gardens in the mountains of central Argentina.
After leaving Spain, we spin the globe to land in Athens with Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, inspired by the Shakespeare play of the same name. Mendelssohn wrote the famous overture in E Major at just 17 years old. The remainder of A Midsummer Night's Dream's incidental music was written 17 years after the overture was completed. You'll likely recognize the famous Wedding March ("Here comes the bride") in one of the movements. This romantic piece is known for its instrumental effects, like emulating scampering "fairy feet" and a donkey's braying. Mendelssohn's music will evoke the feeling of an evening breeze rustling through the trees.
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