Alma Symphony Orchestra Performs 'Favorites'
At first glance, patrons attending the Alma Symphony Orchestra’s second concert of the 2011-12 season may not recognize some of the titles on the program. But, once the music begins, they will certainly recognize the pieces as some of the most familiar in symphonic music repertoire.
The Alma Symphony Orchestra presents music described as “exciting, sensuous and dramatic” in “Audience Favorites” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
Alma Symphony Orchestra
The program will include Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain,” Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” featuring guest guitarist Carlos de la Barrera, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
A combination of familiarity and exhilaration defines the “Audience Favorites” concert, says Murray Gross, ASO director.
“These pieces recall and renew themselves every time they are heard, earning their place in the listener’s memory,” says Gross.
Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” is a feature favorite of the autumn season for its fantastical, dramatic storyline. Through an inflamed, disorderly sound the piece carries the listener to a mountain peak, where a covenant of witches has assembled to partake in a demonic Sabbath. Their revelry ends at the sounding of church bells to announce the coming dawn. Audience members may recall hearing this piece in Disney’s 1940 classic animated film “Fantasia. “
Most music lovers have heard Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” says Gross. It’s second movement “Adagio” has been used in numerous movies, television shows and commercials.
“Audience members will experience the transformation of the three movements, which offer rhythmic delights and beautiful melodies,” says Gross.
Carlos de la Barrera will perform the light phrasing and lively tempo of “Concierto de Aranjuez’s” guitar solo. Barrera has performed with several orchestras in the past and holds a master’s degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he has been a guest faculty at the Summer Classical Guitar Workshop. He currently teaches guitar at Grand Valley State University and Calvin College.
The concert closes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, perhaps the best-known symphony ever written, says Gross.
“I’ve conducted this piece many times and never get tired of it,” says Gross. “That’s what’s so rewarding about this kind of music. It’s multi-faceted and has so many levels to explore. Even though I know what’s coming next, it’s still exciting.”
Posted: Wed, November 23rd, 2011 at 4:09PM