RSSIn Tune By Kirk Muspratt
Maestro Kirk Muspratt of the Northwest Indiana Symphony brings the latest news on the symphony, arts and culture in this monthly column.
People make plans earlier and earlier in this 21st century so I want to ask you to please include our Symphony summer concerts in YOUR summer plans. The South Shore Summer Music Festival is now in its 6th year and we are indebted to the generous and visionary sponsors we have had over these years for making this community festival possible for all of us. This year’s wonderful sponsors are Strack and Van Til, Lexus of Merrillville, and Chase. We want to thank also the townships and their excellent leadership for their hard work and focus on their communities.
This year we are playing one extra concert and it will be a first. On Saturday, August 3, we will play a concert in Marquette Park in Miller/Gary. What a great setting for a concert, eh? Right there on the lake. I would guess that people would come out and enjoy the day then sit and have a picnic dinner at the concert. That is what I would do anyway.
And this year, we are beginning the summer festival in Schererville at Redar Park on Friday, July the 19th. We are so pleased that the civic leaders in Schererville have striven diligently to make this concert work again and that we will back there with all you folks.
Hello friends! Please join us for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to hear the astonishing Mahler 2nd symphony, "The Resurrection", on Friday, April 12th, at the Auditorium at Bethel Church.
The last time, and really the only other time, that our symphony and chorus performed this work was in 1991. The stage will be jam packed with 200 musicians. We even have to have musicians playing up in the balcony.
Also, it is not so often that we can schedule a piece with this message right after Easter. However, this year we got lucky and with Easter still in our hearts and minds, we will have the opportunity to share this spiritual and uplifting piece of music with you. I think that this music must be what music in heaven is like.
Yep. Hector Louis Berlioz was either plumb crazy or they just do not make men like that anymore — regarding romancing a woman, that is.
On September 11, 1827, 24-year-old Hector went to see "Hamlet." (Shakespeare was the rage just then with the enlightenment having just finished.) On stage, in the role of Ophelia, he saw the Irish beauty Harriet Smithson, the most famous actress of her day and Berlioz fell madly in love with her.
For the next 3 years, you cannot say that Berlioz pined for her. Pined would be an extremely vague and weak term compared to what he felt; he trembled all day for her, he felt her presence in every living breath that he took, he could not sleep for weeks at a time, he had no desire for food or drink, his head was swirling with images of her, her eyes, her voice 24/7.
This Friday evening at the Auditorium at Bethel Church in Crown Point the Symphony will be performing my favorite violin concerto - the Korngold Violin Concerto. I am convinced that, after the concert, it will also be YOUR favorite violin concerto!
Imagine, if you will, the sweeping ultra-romantic music of early 1940s movies, The Seahawk, Captain Blood, and The Adventures Of Robin Hood starring the likes of Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland! Then just make that into a violin concerto and you've got it!
The music is swashbuckling and sweeping. Moreover, it is amorous and tender in ways that only the music of those wonderful years gave us. You can almost hear the chivalry in the melodies. You can almost hear the understated courtships that went on then between man and woman - before the days of speed dating and "I Want to Marry a Millionaire.”
HOLIDAY GREETINGS EVERYONE!
I was just speaking with Santa on his cell phone and he is going bonkers with work right now. However, he took time to pass the phone around to Mrs. Santa, the elves and the reindeer so that they could all wish me a Merry Christmas.
Each of them seemed to have something special to say about the artists and music on our "Holiday Pops" concert coming up on Thursday the 6th.
So, you came to our opening Beatles-themed concert and you enjoyed it, eh? You looked and sounded like you enjoyed it. Immensely! All that twisting and shouting out there in the audience. HOLY COW!
Well, that's great but, ummm, I gotta tell ya, ya ain't seen nothin' yet.
Do not prepare to be amazed by our Purdue Varsity Glee Club concert. Prepare to be BLOWN AWAY. You may have seen the Purdue Glee Club perform locally before, but this time they will be singing with the full power of your Symphony.
Ladies and Gentlemen of Northwest Indiana:
Hello everyone, it’s me, John Lennon, writing to you about the upcoming Beatles tribute show Sept. 21 at the Star Plaza Theatre.
Ok, it is just me, Kirk, writing to you about the concert. As I may have told you at one point, I had my own Beatles tribute band a long time ago and I was the John Lennon because I was the one studying music, plus I played piano, guitar and I sang.
"We are the Champions! We are the Champions!" will be our call out to you during our upcoming GLEE concert!
The music of QUEEN will be sung and played by more than 250 performers with the musicians of our Symphony, our Symphony Chorus, Hobart High School' s Wolffgang, Merrillville High School's Choralteens and the Wirt/Emerson Concert Choir filling the Star Plaza Theatre with their enthusiasm and joy!
We expect you to have your cell phones out and ready to wave along with us in "We Are the Champions," as we darken the hall and hope to create a rockin' moment with all of you. (Or - if you have a candle app on your cell phone, that would be even cooler!)
When I am working on a score of Beethoven, I often think of what Steve Martin would say about him. I think Steve would constantly be exclaiming, "he was a wild and crazy guy!!"
We are performing "Beethoven's 6th Symphony" on Friday night and at this time in his life he certainly was a wild guy. They say he walked, head down, every day in the woods and the pastures. He would be completely absorbed in creating and singing his new ideas to himself, jotting down notes in his little notebook. Since he was almost completely deaf by this point in his life, he was always bumping into people, dogs, sheep and cattle. He was in big trouble with many farmers on several occasions as, after he had been startled by the animals, he would lose his ferocious temper, start screaming at the cows and chase them all over the fields.
However, Beethoven was one of the greatest lovers of nature. He was quoted often as saying "I love a tree more than any man." He delighted in nature and spoke often of how important it was for him to be alone with it.
Last year, just before the Holiday Pops concert, a lovely lady said to me: " You know, Christmas just does not begin for any of us until we have come to this concert. We would never ever miss it. It is very special."
I was rushing to go change backstage before the concert, so I thanked this very gracious lady, not knowing if she was referring to her company or her family feeling this way about the Holiday Pops.
However, her compliment stuck in my brain.
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