ASO Presents ‘Sublime and Spectacular’
Expect diversity, says Murray Gross, director of the Alma Symphony
Orchestra, when the group performs the second concert of its 48th
“This program transverses centuries, countries and canons,” Gross says. “The audience will be surprised at the variety of colors, styles and sounds they’ll hear.”
The Alma Symphony Orchestra presents “Sublime and Spectacular,” a diverse concert mix that includes a symphony, suite, saxophone concerto and variety of other sounds and styles that will appeal to all ages and audiences at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18th in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College.
Tickets are $10 for adults and free for Alma College students, faculty, and staff and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
Murray Gross conducts the Alma Symphony Orchestra.
The first half of the concert features two classical Viennese works with an upbeat, lively march by Mozart and Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony.
Maurice Ravel’s colorful “Mother Goose Suite” opens the second half of
the concert and is followed by Michael Torkey’s contemporary Saxophone
Concerto and Gustov Mahler’s “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,”
translated “I Am Lost to the World.” Both the Torkey and Mahler pieces
highlight soloist Jonathon Nichol on saxophone. Also featured in the
second portion of the program is harpist Yoojin Jung.
“The program is exciting because all the pieces are distinct from each other in style and effect,” says Gross.
Schubert’s dark and ominous Symphony No. 8 in B minor, written in 1822 and commonly referred to as the “Unfinished” Symphony, consists of only two of the standard four movements. Yet, it is often considered Schubert’s most forward-looking, influential and popular composition. For all its acclaim, however, only a handful of people knew of the piece’s existence until its 1865 premiere, 37 years after Schubert’s death.
The second half of the concert “switches gears, moves into the 20th century and introduces new instruments into the program,” says Gross.
Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite” was written first as a piano duet and later orchestrated in 1911. Its five movements were inspired by children’s stories from 17th and 18th century French writers, evoking nostalgia of youth and childhood. Ravel also uses instruments such as the harp and contrabassoon to add color and character to the different musical stories, which include “Pavane of Sleeping Beauty,” “Little Tom Thumb,” “Little Ugly Girl, Empress of the Pagodas,” “Conversation of Beauty and the Beast” and “The Fairy Garden.”
Torkey’s Saxophone Concerto, featuring Alma College instructor Jonathon Nichol, blends musical techniques from both the classical tradition and the contemporary pop world.
“This piece is the highlight of the concert that everyone will enjoy,” says Gross. “It is fun, upbeat, and has a lot of modern pop influence.”
Concluding the concert is Mahler’s “I Am Lost to the World,” which will feature Nichol playing the original vocal part on saxophone. Written in 1901 and premiered in 1905, the profound and moving song is based on a poem by the early 19th century German poet Friedrich Ruckert and explores aspects of world-weariness and sadness to resolve in serene rapture.
Posted: Wed, November 7th, 2007 at 12:47PM