Saturday, March 05, 2011

Soprano Molly Servidia, soloist with the Humboldt Symphony

A Pretty Night with the Humboldt Symphony

Two soloists highlight Humboldt Symphony’s early spring concert on Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6 at 8 PM in the Fulkerson Recital Hall.

Soprano Molly Severida, this year’s winner in the HSU student Aria Competition, will perform a song from Susannah, the most famous opera by American composer Carlise Floyd. Premiering in 1955, this opera became the American work taken to the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels. The song, “Ain't It a Pretty Night?" is about “a young woman in the Tennessee Valley who is looking up at the stars and dreaming of a different life,” according to Humboldt Symphony conductor and HSU Music professor Paul Cummings.

HSU Music professor Dr. Dan Aldag is the soloist on Concerto for Trombone by 20th century Danish composer Launy Grondahl. “Though the composer isn’t well known, this piece is a popular one,” Cummings said. “Of all the pieces written for orchestra and trombone there are only about ten that are regularly performed, and this is one of them. The second of the three movements is particularly haunting.”

While both of these pieces involve the entire orchestra as well as the soloists, the orchestra itself is the star after intermission with Franz Schubert’s Symphony #8. “It’s an early Romantic piece, with a lot of heartfelt melodies,” Cummings said. Even though it is only two movements, this “Unfinished Symphony” is Schubert’s most famous. The Humboldt Symphony will play the first movement for these performances, and will finish the Unfinished Symphony in its May concert by playing both movements.

The March 5 and 6 concerts begin and end with a dance. As England prepares for a royal wedding, the Symphony starts off with several of the Courtly Dances that Benjamin Britten composed for the coronation of the current Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. “There’s a Renaissance flavor to these dances,” Cummings said, “suggesting the refined court dancing style of the late 16th century.”

Capping the concert is one of the quite different Slavonic Dances by the 19th century Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. This dance—identified as Op. 46 No. 8 in G minor—is “very fast, very lively. There’s always something melodic happening.”

The Humboldt Symphony with guest soloists Molly Severdia and Dan Aldag performs on Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6 at 8 PM in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7 general, $3 students/seniors, from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Free to HSU students with ID. Conducted by Paul Cummings, produced by HSU Music Department.

Media: Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye, Humboldt Beacon

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