IF YOU GO:
What: “Spring Fever!” concert by Warren Philharmonic Orchestra
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Christ Episcopal Church, 2627 Atlantic St. NE, Warren
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
The sounds of nature will spring to life at Warren Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert Sunday.
Titled “Spring Fever!,” the concert begins at 3 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church.
“Spring is a time of renewal, hope and resurgence, and I wanted to create a program that captures all its excitement and that celebrates many different moods,” said Susan Davenny Wyner, conductor of the WPO. “Each piece evokes a whole different array of feelings.
“And the fun of it all is that the musicians will become magicians for the afternoon — playing water music, cuckoos, thunderstorms, babbling brooks, nightingales, heart-throbbing pastoral depictions, Viennese dance music and American folk songs.”
The Howland High School A Cappella Choir, under Anjanette DePoy’s direction, will accompany the WPO. The choir has won competitions throughout the Northeast, has sung the National Anthem for the Cleveland Cavaliers, performed on “WFMJ Today,” and in December sang in Debbie Boone’s Christmas show at Packard Music Hall.
The program includes Handel’s “Water Music Suite No. 2”; Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony No. 6”; Delius’ “On Hearing the First Cuckoo of Spring”; Copland’s “Old American Songs” (with the Howland choir); and Stauss’ “Voices of Spring Waltz” and “Thunder and Lightning Polka.”
“Most of us picture Beethoven as a frowning, ferocious, wild-eyed genius,” said Wyner. “In fact, he loved nature and said he was happiest when he was out in the middle of it. His “Pastoral Symphony,” written at the same time as his fate-knocking-on-the-door “5th Symphony,” couldn’t be more of a contrast. It shows a completely different side of him. It is filled with warmth, humor, fun, the magic of following a stream into woods and hearing nightingale and cuckoo exchanges. And of course, it has the famous, wildly dramatic thunderstorm that interrupts the villagers’ merry making.”
Wyner said “First Cuckoo” is Frederick Delius’s best-known work. “It is a miniature pastoral tone poem — loving, lush, dreamy — that threads the distant sound of a cuckoo through its gorgeous harmonies. We never really know if the cuckoo is real or is a trick of our memory and nostalgic reminiscence.”