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Monday, November 28, 2011

Live review: Charlotte Symphony takes on Bach, Beethoven

Posted By on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Charlotte Symphony
Belk Theatre
Nov. 19, 2011

On Nov. 19, the Charlotte Symphony put on a compelling performance featuring the music of Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach. The night began with Beethovan’s "Overture to Egmont," a strong and powerful performance that set the pace for the rest of the night. Written in the early 19th century, the overture was meant to be performed by a full symphony orchestra to produce a grand sound appropriate for classical music. The Charlotte Symphony did a good job bringing this piece to fruition from the elusive build up to the ecstatic ending.

After the conclusion of the "Overture," about half of the performers left the stage and it was clear Bach would be next. Bach’s work was written for fewer instruments and the "Brandenburg Concerto No. 4," which the Charlotte Symphony played after the "Overture to Egmont," made it clear why he decided not to use a full orchestra. The intricacies of the flute and the violin are discernable in this piece and the musicianship of Amy Whitehead and Elizabeth Landon (flute) and Calin Lupanu (violin) were entrancing and pleasant.

After intermission, Beethoven’s more popular "Symphony No. 5" began with the famous four-note sequence ‘short-short-short-long’. Most people recognize the musical motif, one of the most popular in classical music, and the Charlotte Symphony really brought it to life. Steadily paced through the Andante and Allegro, the performance ended as strong as it began and the orchestra received a standing ovation that was well deserved.

Overall, the symphony put on a delightful performance and conductor Christopher Warren-Green, who has a list of accolades behind his name, was exciting to watch. If you ever get the opportunity to watch the Charlotte Symphony in action, you will not be disappointed.

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