Thursday, February 15, 2007

March 3rd Maestro Musing!

This just in from our Music Director, Kim Allen Kluge...

There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're half way there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there

"Somewhere" Music by Leonard Bernstein; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

I'll never forget the first time I saw the film version of Bernstein's West Side Story. It was shown to a bunch of stunned adolescents in my seventh grade English class. The collective searing sobs of my classmates still resonate in my memory. That dramatic encounter with West Side Story inspired me to seek out other composers' renditions of Romeo & Juliet, which I have relished through the years. I am looking forward to sharing four of these versions with you at the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra's March 3rd concert entitled "Glorious Love, Tragic Love".

This event, inspired by the Shakespeare in Washington Festival, will feature two singers from Signature Theatre – Erin Driscoll and Tim Tourbin. The ASO's "Glorious Love, Tragic Love" showcases four composers' intensely felt and deeply personal renditions of Romeo & Juliet: from the wild-eyed Berlioz and quintessential romantic, Tchaikovsky, to the contemporary sounds of Bernstein and the popular film score of Rota/Mancini.

I never cease to be thrilled by the variety of musical approaches to this immortal tale. How does each composer treat the futility and hopelessness of the longstanding feud between the two families? The first heart-pounding encounter between Romeo and Juliet that shatters their worlds? The red-hot passions of their ensuing love scenes? Most telling, how do they communicate the overarching theme of a love so intense that it transcends even death? I never fail to be moved by this music. Even though we know the outcome, the journey puts us in touch with the most idealistic, the most "pure" part of ourselves.

We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving

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