Minnesota Valley Sommarfest’s Final Season Concludes with Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale Posted on July 20th, 2006 by

Minnesota Valley Sommarfest’s 17th and final season concludes Thursday, July 27, with a performance of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat or “The Soldier’s Tale.” Thursday’s concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Jussi Bjorling Recital Hall on the Gustavus campus with Douglas Nimmo conducting the ensemble which includes St. Peter’s Michael Jorgensen as narrator, Mankato-area musicians Colin McGuire, violin, and Leslie Weber, clarinet, along with a number of other area musicians, dancers and actors. Tickets for the event may be reserved in advance by calling the Sommarfest office at (507) 933-7013 or purchased at the door the evening of the event.

Although rarely performed, many consider Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, written at the end of the first world war, to be one of the most important scores from the early 20th Century. The text was written by French author Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz and taken from a collection of Russian folk tales assembled by Alexander Afanasiev. Stravinsky met Ramuz in Switzerland where they had both sought asylum during the war. Prior to embarking on The Soldier’s Tale, the two had worked together on a number of other collaborations.

The story of The Soldier’s Tale bears a striking resemblance to the legend of Faust. A soldier meets the Devil disguised as an old man. To acquire a book of magic that will bring him wealth and power, the soldier makes a deal with the old man and trades his violin for the book. The book’s magic brings the soldier wealth, love and power, but he soon realizes who the old man really is and understands the price he must pay for his greed and ambition.

Tickets for the Minnesota Valley Sommarfest finale, The Soldier’s Tale, are available by calling (507) 933-7013 or purchased at the door prior to 7:30 p.m. Prices are $10 adults and $8 for seniors and students. Family tickets (parents and their school-aged children) are $25.


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