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This Thursday and Friday’s Masterworks concerts feature three (out of four) works that go WAAAAAYY back for me. Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals and his Violin Concerto No. 3 all found me in the 70's. The youth orchestra I was in hosted Charles Nelson Reilly as the narrator in the Carnival. What a hoot! He played the cuckoo. When the little toy instrument refused to play, a percussion specialist pointed out that his finger was covering up the soundhole. “That’s the story of my life,” was Mr. Reilly’s reply. And my high school orchestra tackled the Schubert Unfinished, first period every day in 1977.
It was good to see Maestro Richman on the podium again, “(Hey who’s this guy with the beard?)” and to rehearse with David Kim in the Saint-Saëns Third. It’s a concerto you know you’ve heard or played; tunes from it have popped up in my mental iPod over the years. Mr. Kim is an absolute joy to work with, and the Guadagnini instrument on which he plays is wonderful.
To me, Schubert is one of the most enigmatic composers. Since he died so young, I mourn the loss of his later works. Lacking such, we can’t call the Unfinished Symphony a “harbinger of Schubert’s middle period.” What’s extant is some stupendously awesome music, but some fairly average things, too. (Some of the string quartets for example. Hey. Everyone is entitled to my opinion).
While the names Saint-Saëns and Schubert might not send chills up the spines of the average hipster, lawyer, or Vol fan, the tunes we are playing will. Saint-Saëns’ sense of humor is among the best in the business, and America’s first Chidren’s Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutzky, will serve up a new original narrative for the Carnival’s classic melodies.
Please join us Thursday and/or Friday at the Tennessee Theatre at 8 for some truly classic music.
6 years ago | Read Full Story
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