A double take at the Symphony
November 15th, 2011
Omaha, NE – The Omaha Symphony will show some composers are worth a second look this weekend.
This Saturdayâ€™s Omaha Symphony chamber concert is appropriately titled Double Take.The audience will get to hear two very different sides of each of the three composers on the program. For example, the loud Overture, Scherzo and Finale by Robert Schumann is contrasted with Dreaming, a serene and charming work from Schumannâ€™s Scenes from Childhood. Paired with Carl Maria von Weberâ€™s dramatic Symphony No. 1 is his Andante and Hungarian Rondo.
Omaha Symphony Music Director Thomas Wilkins says what makes that work so special is its soloist, the Symphonyâ€™s own Principal Bassoonist James Compton.
â€œJames is a Renaissance man,â€ Wilkins said. â€œHe has been a long-time principle bassoonist for the Omaha Symphony.â€
Wilkins noted Compton is also a skilled craftsman, whoâ€™s worked for Habitat for Humanity. â€œHe really is a terrific human being, so itâ€™s really great to be able to make music with him on stage.â€
Besides Schumann and Weber, the concert includes two playful pieces by American composer, Michael Daugherty. Daugherty has roots in the Midwest, and likewise his music is the sound equivalent of a Norman Rockwell painting.
â€œMichael takes facets of everyday life, common life, and incorporates them into his compositions,â€ Wilkins said. â€œAmerican icons, like Elvis Presley, and thereâ€™s even a piece for two Barbie dolls and orchestra, which is pretty cool.â€
Wilkins said thereâ€™s also a piece based on Sunset Strip and another on the life of Rosa Parks. â€œHe is just all over the place in regards with what it means to be an American,â€ he said. â€œAnd that finds its way into his music.â€
And on that note, Daughertyâ€™s Dead Elvis is also on the program, again featuring bassoonist James Compton. The Omaha Symphonyâ€™s chamber concert Double Take is at 7 pm Nov. 19 at the Strauss Performing Arts Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
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