A 'Fantastique' musical menu: Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra offers Berlioz, Mozart compositions

2013-03-01T00:00:00Z A 'Fantastique' musical menu: Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra offers Berlioz, Mozart compositionsEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

There'll be a mix of emotions musically displayed in Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra's latest show.

Under the direction of conductor/music director Kirk Muspratt, the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra will present the dynamic program "Fantastique" at 7:30 p.m. March 8 at The Auditorium at Bethel Church in Crown Point.

"I'm telling people to prepare to be amazed once again," said Muspratt, stressing the theme of the season and its focus on "amazing" content.

One of the highlights of the show will be a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27, which was his last piano composition. Pianist Nadia Azzi, a 14-year-old pianist who has racked up her share of awards already, will play the masterpiece.

"Nadia is a young superstar on her way up," said Muspratt, adding he's looking forward to presenting her on the orchestra's stage. "This is a great concerto she'll be performing."

Muspratt explained the Mozart piece is lilting and a bit lighter than some of his other works and perfect for a young musician to play.

"It's a bright piece written at the very end of Mozart's life but it's very young sounding and not dark or full of pathos," he said.

At the other musical spectrum and featured on the orchestra's program is Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique," a composition in which all of Berlioz's emotions surrounding sadness, unrequited love, agony, and angst appear.

Muspratt explained "Symphonie Fantastique" heralded the Romantic period in music. "Berlioz is like a biker breaking every rule," and the work is full of personal pathos, the conductor explained.

Throughout the work, listeners can definitely hear the angst and even sounds of terror, in a sense. Movie fans need only remember the soundtrack to the Julia Roberts' film "Sleeping with the Enemy" and its signature classical music piece played by the character's evil husband. It was a segment of "Symphonie Fantastique" and easily made viewers shudder every time it was heard.

"It's a big virtuosic piece and can be very challenging," Muspratt said.

The conductor said he finds it "fascinating" to learn about the life stories of the musicians and composers and how their works came to be.

"I love history and I love the way music really ties that all together," he said.

In addition to the performance, audience members may once again attend Muspratt's popular pre-concert conversation, which will be held at 6:15 p.m.

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