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More than just pretty sounds

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By Special to the Monitor

Classical music is more than just pretty sounds. For instance, between 1795-1880, a combination of an emotional and political atmosphere was commonly featured in the music. Hear this music during the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra’s fall concert to be presented at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. Michael Gyurik will conduct the concert.

The program will open with the overture “La Gazza Ladra” by Gioacchino Rossini written in1817. The always tuneful overtures of Rossini were brought to the attention of the modern audience by the great Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini. True to form, this overture does contain the famous “Rossini Crescendo” consisting of a musical phrase repeated with growing intensity to build up interest.

“The Stepppes of Central Asia” by Alexander Borodin, composed in 1880 will follow the overture.  This composition gives the listener a view into the intense Russian Nationalism being propagated at the time by the “Mighty Five,” which included Balakirev, Borodin, Cui, Mussorgsky and Rinsky-Korsakov. Exotic sounds of Asiatic Russia with oriental melodies and tone color as well as Russian history portray the vivid scenes, which in turn bring strong emotions to the mind in this Tone Poem.  

The principal cellist of the LASO, James Knudson, will be the featured soloist in the Saint-Saens cello concerto no. 1, op. 33, for cello and orchestra.  Saint-Saens composed this concerto, the first of two cello concertos in 1872 and it is one of his most played compositions.

Saint-Saens championed the cause of orchestral music in France, whose public preferred opera and ballet to symphonies. Saint-Saens also organized a society to promote French orchestral music.

The concluding number on the program will be Symphony No.104 by Franz Joseph Haydn, written in 1795, during his stay in England. It is the last of the six so-called “London Symphonies” and also the very last symphony composed by Haydn.

Having already composed five other symphonies in this set namely: “Surprise,” “Miracle,” “Military,” “Clock” and “Drumroll,” this last one was named the “London.”

This grouping is considered among Haydn’s finest works.

The LASO has always encouraged local students to join in their rehearsals and concerts and participate in a different setting from their norm, thereby furthering their musical experience.

Each year LASO awards scholarships to talented participating students therefore, in May, four scholarships were awarded to local students.  

In order to sustain this activity, LASO has established a Scholarship Fund at the Los Alamos National Bank. Contributions will be accepted at the concert and envelopes will be available at the door to enclose or mail contributions to  LASO Scholarship Fund.

 Tickets will be available at the door and are  $15 for adults and  $10 for students.  

Doors will be open at 6:30 p.m.