LSO SPARKLES IN SEASON OPENER
Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Walter Y. Murphy and Dr. Werner A. Linz.
Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 marked the opening performance of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-2019 season. This concert, titled The Beginning, was dedicated to the memory of two great men, who’s leadership and guidance has been vital to the existence of the LSO. Through the kind words from LSO president, Kaye Minchew, Dr. Walter Y. Murphy and Dr. Werner A. Linz were officially recognized, before the concert, for their tremendous contribution to the organization. Both men put great effort into the success of the Symphony since the very beginning. It was in their memory and with tremendous gratitude that the concert was dedicated. Both of the honoree’s wives were in the audience and were applauded for their significant role in the accomplishments of their late husbands.
It has been the custom for the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, to play a rousing rendition our National Anthem at the first concert of every season. Our very first concert was held January 14th, 1990 – a birthday, so to speak. While we are rising into our 30th year as an organization, the 30th anniversary date is in January 2020. This is a huge milestone and we are greatly looking forward to celebrating during our 2019-2020 season, when we will truly be 30 years old!
Just as in years past, The Star Spangled Banner got everyone warmed up for what was to come. This year began with Bernstein’s Overture to Candide. Celebrating the 100th birthday of the late, great Leonard Bernstein, who’s life spanned the years 1918 – 1990, the LSO brought his composition to life. From the operetta’s opening brass, through the ebb and flow of the playful optimistic rhythms this was performed with vivaciousness, just as a story would be told. The notable liveliness, and cheeky style came through. Bernstein would be pleased.
Next was Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C Major. Featured artist, Alexandra Shatalov Prior, who is the LSO oboe principal, played with control and wonderful musical expression. The Oboe Concerto is melodically lovely, and technically quite challenging with its long solid phrases. This performance was refined and delivered with exactness. Through three movements, the up-beat theme recurs while the orchestra showcases the oboe. Maestro Prior, and Alexandra have recently married, so the title of this concert, “The Beginning”, with Alexandra being featured artist, has taken on another deeper meaning.
After a short intermission, it was time for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, a great work that has become one of his most popular. Looking at the musicians, it also seemed like a very enjoyable piece to perform. The LSO’s definitive interpretation of this Beethoven piece was spot-on and did not disappoint. At times gentle with subtle nuances and others vigorous and expressive, but always precise and adding just the right amount of sparkle. With tip-toe passages that seem to get closer and stronger and lovely flute inserts, this was very much a wonderful Beethoven experience.
All three pieces were cheerful, bright, and fit together very well in this concert. The evening didn’t end at the close of the concert though. A full reception was held at the LaGrange/Troup Chamber of Commerce and was well attended. A presentation was made by LSO president Kaye Minchew to Gail Browne, who received the Werner A. Linz Director Emeritus Award. Congratulations Gail! In addition, a presentation was made to Catherine Linz, Marianne Murphy, and to Gail Browne by LSO Executive Director Raylene Carter and LSO President Kaye Minchew. Each lady was presented with the Symphony’s 2018/2019 specially-designed silken scarf. This item had not yet been announced, so it was a wonderful surprise. The scarf features the concert art for the upcoming October concert “Women in Music.” There are a limited number available for purchase through the LSO office.
Here are a few photos from the reception:
And a few photos of the beautiful people attending this season opener:
Thank you for supporting the arts in LaGrange, and especially the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. October’s concert, Women in Music, will highlight compositions from Florence Price and Fanny Mendelssohn, along with a piano performance by the 2018 Young Artists Competition (YAC) winner, Yanni Tan!