2017-04-20 / Entertainment

Philharmonic Spring Concerts in Randolph, Barre


Maestro Lou Kosma leads the Vermont Philharmonic in music by Shostakovich, Sibelius, and Dvorak on Saturday evening, April 29, at the Chandler Music Hall in Randolph (7:30 pm), and again on Sunday afternoon, April 30, at the Barre Opera House (2 pm).  The program provides a great opportunity to experience the VP’s big orchestral sound live and in person.

The program opens with Dmitri Shostakovich’s rousing Festive Overture.  After hearing it performed at the dress rehearsal in 1954, a contemporary critic called it “brilliant [and] effervescent, with its vivacious energy spilling over like uncorked champagne.”

Things get darker and more complicated with Jean Sibelius’s music for Maurice Maeterlinck’s play, Pelléas and Melisande, a tale of doomed and forbidden love.  First performed in 1905, the suite provides contrasting moods, from foreboding and terror to pastoral peacefulness and, finally, a passionate and beautiful lament for Melisande’s death.

Antonin Dvořá́k’s Symphony No. 9, the best known work on the program, reflects the Czech composer’s experience in the “new world” of the 1890’s, when he spent three years in New York City and a summer in Iowa.  The music lovingly interprets American themes and rhythms from a Czech perspective.  After its premier by the New York Philharmonic, a critic proclaimed it “the greatest symphonic work ever composed in this country.”  Modern audiences might agree.

Vermont’s oldest community orchestra, the Vermont Philharmonic has been making music in central Vermont since 1969.  Tickets for these concerts are available at the door ($15 / $12 seniors / $5 students).  Tickets may be purchased in advance for the Chandler Center for the Arts performance at www.chandler-arts.org and for the Barre Opera House performance at www.barreoperahouse.orgor call the box office at 476-8188.

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