Traditional meets modern at the CSO

By Holly Leber Article posted on Thu. Nov. 1st, 2012
  • photo
    Kayoko Dan, conducting the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.
    Contributed photo.

IF YOU GO

* What: Chattanooga Symphony & Opera presents Dvorak Symphony No. 6.

* When and where: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.; 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at Volkswagen Conference Center, 8001 Volkswagen Drive.

* Admission: $19-$81 Saturday, $25 Sunday.

* Phone: 267-8583.

* Website: www.chattanoogasymphony.org.

Go on a journey, from 19th-century Vienna to 1960s Hollywood, this weekend with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera.

The evening opens with Maurice Ravel's Introduction and Allegro, featuring CSO principals Janet Hale (flute), Robert West (clarinet) and Caroline Brown Hudson (harp).

The original plan was to open with American composer Michael Daugherty's 1999 composition, "Sunset Strip," but CSO music director Kayoko Dan didn't want the featured players on the Ravel piece to have to play through the Daugherty with anxiety, so she changed the order.

The Ravel work, written in 1905 as a chamber music piece with string quartet, particularly shows off Hudson's harp skills, Dan said. The featured musicians will be joined by some of the CSO string section.

"We'll have a slightly smaller than normal (section) but much bigger than a quartet," said Dan.

"Sunset Strip" will follow and is divided into three movements: 7 p.m., Nocturne and 7 a.m. Daugherty said the work was inspired by the spirit of Hollywood, beginning with the jet-set glamour of the 1930s and moving toward the counterculture of the 1960s.

"My dreamlike musical journey takes us past swank restaurants, beatnik hangouts, dazzling hotels, Rat Pack nightclubs, private-eye offices, rock clubs with go-go dancers, Mexican restaurants and smoky jazz lounges," Daugherty wrote in his program notes.

"It captures that middle-of-the-night feel," Dan said. "It has a really strange ambiance to it."

The evening culminates with Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 6 in D Major, Op. 60, a complement to the performance of Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 2, played by the CSO earlier in October.

"Some musicologists say (the Dvorak piece) was not quite an homage but a hats-off to Brahms 2," Dan said.

The two works are in the same key and have a similar feel, she said.

"It just has a particular feeling, a really warm, optimistic feeling to both symphonies."

At the same time, Dan said, the Dvorak symphony stands on its own merits.

"It has almost a nostalgia form to it. He writes in Germanic tradition of symphony, but he always puts in his love for his (native Czechoslovakia)."

Contact Holly Leber at hleber@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6391. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/hollyleber. Subscribe to her on Facebook at facebook.com/holly.j.leber.

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