Jack Ergo leads the Graceland Orchestra in a solid program of classic works — with some twists. The free performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, in Carol Hall in Shaw Center on the Graceland Lamoni campus.
The evening opens with works by Baroque composers. Brad Benson will take the solo violin spotlight in the famous and challenging “Winter” section of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” Shelby Cox will follow on the organ with “Adagio in G Minor and Strings” by Tomaso Albinoni.
The mood shifts quickly with a variety of soloists in works by the French composer Claude Debussy. “The Little Shepherd” is a haunting melody bringing to mind a lonely young boy watching his sheep on a hilltop with his reed whistle. Widalys Conzalez, Analyn Blake and Anna Hoffman take solo parts on bassoon, flute and clarinet respectively. “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” is the Frenchman’s tribute to American ragtime. Corey Oiler and Jolia Poltorak solo on cello with Jay Radloff and Josh Soard on baritone sax and bass clarinet.
Two contemporaries from Vienna’s glory era as the music capital of Europe provide the next three compositions. Antonia Salieri, well known in his day, wrote numerous works for chamber ensembles, including the “Sinfonia Venezia.” His fame was eclipsed by a young rival, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The audience will hear Mozart’s “Five Contradances” and a solo from “The Marriage of Figaro” by soprano Mancy Oney.
The program takes a peaceful interlude with the quiet “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” by C. W. Gluck. Works by J.S. Bach and Franz Josef Hadyn keep the focus on works of the masters.
The concert concludes with ballet music from the opera “Le Cid” by the French composer, Jules Massanet.