ASO season will have a modern side

Performances: The work of resident artist Stephen Paulus will play an important role during the orchestra's ambitious 40th anniversary.

Preview

July 13, 2000|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 40th anniversary season with a richly programmed slate of concerts that promises to make conductor Leslie B. Dunner's third season at the ASO helm an intriguing traversal of the symphonic repertoire.

One of the themes of the season is contemporary music, as several works crafted by high-profile composers of our time will be performed at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

The unique, accessible music of Stephen Paulus will play an important role in the anniversary season, which is fitting since the composer will be spending two weeks in residence with the orchestra.

The Camerata chamber concert Oct. 6 will mark the Annapolis premiere of Paulus' "Voices from the Gallery," a musical tour of the world's great art treasures, and the subscription concerts April 27-28 will open with a brief work the orchestra has commissioned from the same composer.

Other contemporary works are the first of Joan Tower's "Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman," John Adams' bumpy, lurching "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" and Sheila Silver's "Three Preludes."

Balancing the contemporary exploration will be four of the most extraordinary symphonies the core repertoire has to offer.

The season-opener in September will include Tchaikovsky's gut-wrenching 4th Symphony. It will be followed in November by the warm, tuneful 5th Symphony of Franz Schubert, surely one of the most prodigious works ever crafted by an 18-year-old.

In February, we will batten down the hatches for Gustav Mahler's 1st Symphony, one of the most galvanic, heroically conceived masterworks. Two months later, a solo soprano and baritone plus a full choir will join the ASO for the stirring fanfares and choruses of Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Sea Symphony," an under-appreciated piece animated by the inspirational poetry of Walt Whitman.

In January, the orchestra will pay tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach as part of the 250th anniversary commemoration of the composer's death. The 3rd Orchestral Suite, which contains the famous "Air on a G String," the 5th "Brandenburg" Concerto - one of the most compelling keyboard concertos in the repertoire - and Bach's choral setting of the Virgin Mary's Hymn of Praise, the "Magnificat," are scheduled to be performed.

High-caliber soloists also figure in the orchestra's plans. Violinist Colin Jacobsen, who recently made his debut with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic, will play the Beethoven Concerto in the September program, followed in November by Fatma Daglar, the orchestra's gifted principal oboist, who will perform Mozart's concerto.

Tage Larsen, former ASO principal trumpet who is a member of the St. Louis Symphony, joins his old orchestra for the snappy Trumpet Concerto of Johann Nepomuk Hummel during February's program. Christopher Parkening, arguably the truest master of that instrument, joins the orchestra for Joaquin Rodrigo's quintessentially Spanish "Concierto de Aranjuez" at the anniversary gala in May.

Latin flair will be in evidence at the May gala. It also will include a sampling from the "Bachianas Brasilieras" by Brazil's Heitor Villa-Lobos and the "Variaciones Concertantes" by Argentina's Alberto Ginastera. Brooklyn's Aaron Copland also took off on a musical jaunt south of the border, and his "Latin American Sketches" will round out the program.

Carlos Surinach's "Ritmo Jondo," another Latin work from Spain, finds its way onto the Camerata chamber agenda in October. Surinach is finally starting to receive some of the recognition he deserves.

The season's Iberian motif is developed further with a November guest-conducting appearance by Jose Ferreira-Lobo, founder of the Camerata do Porto Chamber Orchestra of Portugal.

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Season's schedule

Sept. 22-23, 2000:

Leslie B. Dunner, conductor; Colin Jacobsen, violin

Joan Tower: "Fanfare No. 1 for the Uncommon Woman"

Beethoven: Violin Concerto

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

Nov. 10-11, 2000: Jose Ferreira-Lobo, guest conductor; Fatma Daglar, oboe

William Schuman: "Amaryllis" - Variations on an Old English Round

Mozart: Oboe Concerto

Schubert: Symphony No. 5

Jan. 26-27, 2001:

Leslie B. Dunner, conductor; vocal soloists and chorus TBA

J.S. Bach: "Brandenburg" Concerto No. 5

J.S. Bach: "Magnificat"

J.S.Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3

Feb. 23-24, 2001:

Leslie B. Dunner, conductor; Tage Larsen, trumpet

John Adams: "Short Ride in a Fast Machine"

Hummel: Trumpet Concerto

Mahler: Symphony No. 1

April 27-28, 2001:

Leslie B. Dunner, conductor; vocal soloists and chorus TBA

Stephen Paulus: new work (world premiere)

Sheila Silver: "Three Preludes"

Vaughan Williams: "Sea Symphony"

Special Events Concerts

Oct. 6, 2000:

Annapolis Camerata Chamber Orchestra, Leslie B. Dunner, conductor

Stravinsky: Octet for Winds

Milhaud: "The Creation of the World"

Carlos Surinach: "Ritmo Jondo"

Stephen Paulus: "Voices from the Gallery"

May 12, 2001:

40th Anniversary Gala, Leslie B. Dunner, conductor; Christopher Parkening, guitar

Copland: "Three Latin American Sketches"

Rodrigo: "Concierto de Aranjuez"

Villa-Lobos: "Bachianas Brasilieras" No. 5

Ginastera: "Variaciones Concertantes"

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