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If you missed the fall concert of the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra, held in November in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, you missed a fine evening.The church is a favorite of performers and audiences alike for its warm surroundings and excellent acoustics. In addition to their accustomed orchestral pieces, we were treated to a rare appearance in town of two of Los Alamos' most celebrated classical music performers, Kay Newnam, violin; and Thomas O’Conner, oboe. With the orchestra they performed Bach’s “Concerto for Violin and Oboe.”But the opening was another Los Alamos gift, the world premier of local composer Ted Vives’ “Fanfare Diamante.” This thrilling piece featured the brass (Ted is a brass performer in his own right) but artfully mixed in the rest of the orchestra. It was one complicated rhythm after another as the orchestra “talked back and forth to itself” sometimes in classically contrapuntal passages. As a fanfare should be, it was foot-tapping and stirring (musicologists can find much more in it since it was based on classical forms). The program notes say it ended “with a distinctly inculpatory flourish.” Well, you know those program note writers.The second piece was the Bach with its very familiar themes both melodic and contrapuntal.
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