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Julie Stein: 'Orchestral Delights' among season's best concerts

A world premiere, beautiful solos and true "Orchestral Delights" were heard by the audience attending the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra concert last Saturday night. The evening's program titled "Orchestral Delights" highlighted the orchestra...

A world premiere, beautiful solos and true "Orchestral Delights" were heard by the audience attending the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra concert last Saturday night. The evening's program titled "Orchestral Delights" highlighted the orchestra through large works by Wagner, Bernstein and Dvorak.
Special to the evening was the world premiere of Bradley Bombardier's piece "e Fanfare, Opus 109." This was a piece that sounded full of commercials -- 30-second sound bites of non-relating themes.
It was bold and unashamed through most of its three minutes, with quick glimpses of relaxed melodies. The orchestra enjoyed playing it, and the audience gave it a healthy round of applause.
Premieres are a great opportunity for a musical community. It's the members' chance to hear the secret before it's been spread.
Wagner, Bernstein and Dvorak also appeared on the program Saturday. Wagner's Prelude and Leibestod from "Tristan and Isolde" followed Bombardier's piece.
One need not know the complex and tragic story line of the opera to appreciate and feel the passion that emanated from the DECC stage. Members of the orchestra played the work as if they were the ones living the twisted tale and dying in their lover's arms.
Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story" by Bernstein ended the first half of the program.
This is the kind of piece that is usually heard at a Pops concert. It encompasses so many emotions, and lightens up the orchestra with directions to have the musicians snap or yell out "Mamba." It even drew a few chuckles from the more serious listeners.
Intermission seemed an eternity while waiting to hear Dvorak's "New World Symphony No. 9 Opus 95," but it was definitely worth the wait. This is a work that's good from the very first hearing to the 100th and beyond.
"New World" is a great blend of whistleable melodies and complex rhythms and harmonies. This makes it a great piece for a person of any age and musical background.
The DSSO's live version was a treat, especially the gorgeous English horn solo in the second movement played by Philis Anderson. Bravo DSSO!
Although this was one of the stronger concerts of the season, the audience did not jump to its feet for the usual standing ovation. Perhaps the fact that there was no soloist for the evening was the reason that the crowd was smaller and less enthusiastic. Whatever the reason, though, it's unfortunate because the orchestra had a strong performance and had the stage to itself.
Join the DSSO for its next concert on Saturday, March 18, at 8 p.m.
The concert will feature Vera Tsu, violin, and Rachel Inselman, soprano, and a world premiere by Tyler Kaiser.
Call the DSSO office at 733-7575 for information and tickets.

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