A delight from beginning to end
The Reflection & Perfection concert on Tuesday night, was the LSO’s first public live performance in over a year. It was a total delight to experience. The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra went the extra mile to provide a wonderful evening of music in a safe way. Music in the Sanctuary, is a fall 2021 concert series held at the First United Methodist Church of LaGrange (FUMC). This beautiful church is perfect for the smaller sized orchestra used for this series, consisting of about 25 musicians. With enough room for social distancing combined with the LSO vaccination policy, all CDC and local physician recommendations were upheld.
The October weather was perfect for an evening out. Friends gathered, and although masks were worn inside the building, you could still see smiling eyes everywhere. Outside, the weather was flawless as the sun went down. Some chatted with eager anticipation and everyone was happy to finally be at this milestone concert. Here are a few shots as attendees arrived.
The concert repertoire included:
- Handel: Overture to Messiah one of only two purely instrumental movements in Messiah.
- Bach: Concerto for Oboe and Violin wonderfully robust three movement piece featuring LSO’s Concertmaster Lorna Wood and Principal Oboist Alexandra Shatalova Prior.
- Mozart: Symphony No. 36 Linz, written during a stopover in the Austrian town of Linz as Mozart and his wife were on their way home to Vienna from Salzburg in late 1783.
Electronic tickets and programs
All tickets were handled electronically as well as the concert program, which was emailed to ticket-holders before the concert. Because there was no hand-held program, Maestro Richard Prior discussed the pieces with the audience. This made the evening a more personal experience between the audience and the performers, and gave an added value to the entire program.
A sound performance
The sound quality was superb. If you have never been inside this church, you are missing out. The FUMC is a large space with great acoustics and state-of-the-art audio visual equipment. Both the senior minister of the FUMC, Dr. John Beyers, and the LSO president, Jeff Higgins, warmly welcomed everyone. Behind the scenes, the concert was being professionally recorded by Lake Audio & Video in conjunction with the FUMC technology staff. They also provided the concert recording of Celebration & Surprise, which was released on the LSO YouTube channel on September 28th, 2021.
The LSO interpretations of these pieces were spot on, and the intimate atmosphere of the church added to the richness of the sound. Each movement was thoughtfully executed with precision and carried its own unique feeling. The robust Bach Concerto for Oboe and Violin was reason enough to record this concert in the LSO history books, but combined with Handel’s Overture to Messiah, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 36, Linz it was one we are not likely to forget. This was a terrific performance.
The return to the stage continues
Being there on Tuesday night, for the Reflection & Perfection concert, attendees experienced the LSO’s first-step in returning to the stage. There are two more concerts in the Music in the Sanctuary series. November 9th’s performance is called Colors & Contrasts, and December’s concert is entitled Fanfares & Serenades. Both will be held at FUMC of LaGrange. You can read more about these upcoming concerts on the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s 2021-2022 season page HERE.
A few more photos
All photos: © LaGrange Symphony Orchestra 2021