The final two pieces Musical Director Vincent Povázsay chose for LCCO’s “Reflections” concerts have a close relationship with one another. The concerts are Saturday, May 20 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 21 at 3:00 pm at the Mann Center in Sanford.
The first piece is Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture inspired by Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and its story of the tragic downfall of a heroic figure. The music follows the character’s rise and fall and ends in a ritardando ("gradually slowing"), the rhythm stretching out to a final point of stillness.
“It’s a unique conclusion, particularly among big name composers,” says Povázsay. “It's not often a piece of classical music, especially from the 19th century, ends quietly without some sort of triumph.”
The overture’s mood sets the stage for César Franck’s Symphony in D minor, a piece that has fallen from favor but one Povázsay believes is an unjustly neglected master work. The French composer was a huge admirer of Beethoven and studied his music tirelessly. French composers did not write many symphonies at the time. In fact, Symphony in D minor is Frank’s only symphony and contains three movements instead of the usual four.
The English horn plays an important role and LCCO has invited guest musician Nick Lazzara from Greensboro to perform the major solo that’s featured in the piece. Povázsay sees the Franck symphony as one of the hardest pieces LCCO has ever tackled. “It’s been great to see the improvement and the attention to detail the players have given this incredibly difficult piece of music. They have risen to the occasion."
The “Reflections” concerts open with what has become a LCCO tradition of playing the Armed Forces Salute at its May performances. Veteran and active personnel are invited to stand to be recognized during the playing of their anthem.
LCCO concerts are FREE and open to the public. Door prizes by Big Bloomers Flower Farm.