Kenai Peninsula Orchestra serves up a feast

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2008

Music is arguably the food the feeds the human soul, and playing on that theme, the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra will be presenting a musical seven-course meal this weekend at two locations, though, just to be clear, there is no actual edible fare.

"I am calling this concert the 'Full Meal Deal' because it's a little bit of everything mostly favorites from different composers combined together in one concert, resulting in a complete 'meal.' I hope everyone will find something to please their palate in at least one part of the meal," said Tammy Vollom-Matturro, the conductor of the performance.

Like many feasts that serve a first dish to ease into the main course, the musical performance will start with an appetizer of Franz von Supp's "Light Cavalry Overture," a piece Vollom-Matturro described as "having many contrasting sections" since it "begins with a fanfare, followed by a lush, slow movement and finally finishes with a light rhythmic march."

Next on the menu will be Joseph Maurice Ravel's "Pavane for a Dead Princess," which Vollom-Matturro said as an individual piece is "very lush and rubato, as a creamy, rich soup."

Following Ravel is what Vollom-Matturro described as a surprise course, to prepare concert patrons for the entre.

"(Vaclav) Nelhybel's 'Movement for Orchestra' is that food you've wanted to try but haven't gotten a chance to yet. A modern piece, it begins slowly with viola solo, crescendoing to a huge full orchestra fugue, resolving again into a dramatic fortissimo ending," she said.

Vollom-Matturro promised Nelhybel's piece would be something new for the musical palate.

The first half of the evening's performances will conclude with a real meat and potatoes entre of Georges Bizet Carmen Suite No. 1.

"(This) is a familiar piece in five short movements. This piece should please most everyone's palate with its beautiful slow movements, spunky flamenco movement, and dramatic ending with a march-like tune many will recognize," Vollom-Matturro said.

After a brief intermission, Gioachino Rossini starts the second half of the program with the "Tancredi Overture".

"I like to think of this as the salad course to compliment our entre; light, happy, crunchy and healthy," Vollom-Matturro said.

Johann Strauss' "Radetzky March" follows as a light side dish, and may be familiar tune to many.

"This piece might actually create an urge to clap along, which is totally acceptable. You almost can't help it," she said.

No meal would be complete with the sweetest part dessert and Vollom-Matturro said the final piece of the evening "Danse Bacchanal" by Camille Saint-Sans would be rich, like the finest of cheesecakes.

"(It) starts with the oboe setting the mood in a long cadenza. This is followed by a light, bouncy theme which grows to a full orchestra fortissimo. The slow section starts with big, unison strings, resolving again to the fast, light theme.

"Does it end big? Absolutely! Huge full orchestra with a double forte ending that never seems to give up. The ending is grand, just like the finale of a fine dinner," Vollom-Matturro said.

The Kenai Peninsula Orchestra's first evening performance of the "Full Meal Deal" will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre in Homer. The second performance will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School.

Ticket prices are for $18 general admission, $16 senior, $15 Raven, $10 youth and $52 for a family. Tickets are available at Charlotte's, River City Books, Etude Music Studio and The Homer Bookstore. For reservations call 907-235-7579.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at joseph.robertia@peninsulaclarion.com.



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