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Ignoti to unveil new work

Music Column


In the apparently eternal struggle to lure more people into a regular symphonic habit, orchestras have tried all sorts of marketing ideas. The expansion of options from full-season subscriptions to various minisubscription packages is probably the most common attempt to reel in advance sales.

Another approach that strikes me as particularly useful and promising is being tried out by the National Symphony Orchestra this week - a "season preview" concert, where excerpts from the 2006-2007 programming will be played and discussed.

It's the first time the NSO has presented such a foretaste, but I have a feeling it won't be the last. Perhaps the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will consider offering such a concert in future years.

Leading the "free, come-as-you-are" sampling of the NSO's 76th season will be the orchestra's engaging associate conductor Emil de Cou.

He'll touch on major components of the season, including a salute to the Shostakovich centennial (the Festive Overture and an excerpt from Symphony No. 10 will serve as examples); a Kennedy Center-wide Shakespeare festival (a portion of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet will be played); and a "Serious Fun" festival (Leroy Anderson's novelty piece The Typewriter will demonstrate what's in store).

Also on the program will be excerpts from Haydn's Symphony No. 94, Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Mahler's Symphony No. 1 and Ravel's Daphne et Chloe.

The concert is at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Virginia and New Hampshire avenues N.W. For more information, call 800-444-1324.

Ignoti Dei Opera

Fresh from presenting the U.S. premiere of Cavalli's early baroque work La Didone in Washington, Ignoti Dei Opera will be in Baltimore this weekend to unveil a new piece devised by the company's founding director, Timothy Nelson, and designer Kel Millione.

Titled Ground, this multimedia project fuses 17th-century Italian music with movement, poetry and an art installation to explore what Nelson calls "the human experience in its most simple terms - birth, life, love, death."

The musical selections have in common what is known as a "ground bass," a recurring pattern in the bass line with ever-changing melodic material above it. Two vocalists and a period-instrument orchestra will be featured.

Performances of Ground will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday at Baltimore's Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. Tickets are $28, $22 for students. Call 410-752-8558 or visit

An die Musik

The classical music scene has pretty much slipped into laid-back summer mode in Baltimore, but you can still find concerts here and there. One of them is by the D.C.-based Marquis Trio - clarinetist Jean-Francois Bescond, cellist John Kaboff, pianist Diane Winter-Pyles.

On the program are works by Beethoven, Bruch, Faure and others.

The concert is at 3 p.m. Sunday at An die Musik, 409 N. Charles St. Tickets are $13, $10 for students and seniors. Call 410-385-2638.

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