Annapolis Symphony announces colorful programming for 09-10 season
Since Jose-Luis Novo's arrival as music director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra a few years ago, the ensemble has boasted some very imaginative, sophisticated programming. The lineup for the 2009-2010 season reiterates that point.
Consider, for example, the selections planned for a March presentation. It's got a title, of course -- orchestras these days just love marketing programs under cute titles. This one is called "Spring Awakening," naturally enough, but the title actually fits, and not just because it contains the unsurprising Spring Symphony by Schumann. The program will open with the endearing Blumine (Flower Piece) movement that Mahler ultimately took out of his Symphony No. 1. Also in the mix: Voices of Spring, one of the great waltzes by Johann Strauss, whose music is criminally ignored by most orchestras, except for the occasional pops outing. And there's also room for the lyrical Violin Concerto by Korngold, which represents the sensual side of spring as well as anything (the soloist will be Elissa Lee Koljonen). Nothing earth-shattering perhaps on its own, but a very attractive combination.
Throughout the season, thoughtfully chosen repertoire is the rule. A February offering, for example, takes its cue from a war horse, Ravel's Bolero, and spices things up by balancing it with other "Sexy Sounds" (like I said, they just can't resist gimmicky titles) that are less commonly programmed, including Franck's Psyche et Eros, Richard Strauss' Dance of the Seven Veils, Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and Piazzolla's Tangazo.
Even a program with Beethoven's evergreen Seventh Symphony gets some fresh company in the form of pieces by Milhaud and Shostakovich. The season-opener features Haydn's Drum Roll Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Fourth, but with Weber's Clarinet Concerto the less standard item in between (the soloist is Anthony McGill).
Rounding out the season will be a program that includes a Mozart symphony, Elgar's Enigma Variations and a work by the infrequently encountered 20th century composer Andre Caplet.All in all, a sign of how seriously Novo approaches the job, and how much the orchestra and its audiences stand to gain.