Music can tell a story, paint a portrait or just be music — as it is in “Bolero,” Maurice Ravel’s most famous composition, and the final piece the Red Cedar Symphony will perform at its fall concerts on Nov. 9 in Cumberland and Nov. 10 in Rice Lake. 

Possibly one of the most recognizable pieces of classical music ever written, “Bolero,” tells no tale; it simply repeats the same musical phrase over and over with increasing intensity, building to a cacophonous finish — and bringing the fall concert to a crashing conclusion. 

The concerts will open with music from two almost-as-famous fairy tale ballets: a medley from “Sleeping Beauty” by Tchaikovsky, and the Berceuse and Finale from the “Firebird Suite” by Stravinsky. The final piece on the concert program is the first two Promenades and first two movements from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” — the lurching “Gnome” and the brooding “Old Castle.”

Concerts will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Augustana Lutheran Church, 1025 2nd Ave. in Cumberland, and at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at Bethany Lutheran Church, 35 W. Messenger St. in Rice Lake. Tickets are $15, with those 21 and under admitted free, available at the door. 

Established in 1983 and housed at Bethany Lutheran Church in Rice Lake, the RCS is conducted by Professor Emeritus Ivar Lunde of UW-Eau Claire, and draws musicians from throughout northwestern Wisconsin, including Rice Lake, Cumberland, Ladysmith, Spooner, Chetek, Gordon, Trego, Springbrook, Bruce, Hayward, Cable, Winter, Bloomer, Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire. 

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