By Marianne Donnelly
Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra's 2019-2020 season promises an array of brilliant concerts at the Smith Center For The Performing Arts. They started Friday September 7th with a virtuoso interpretation of the popular Ravel arrangement of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition."
Mussorgsky's artistic credo was "Art is a means for conversing with people...to depict the finest traits of the masses... to delve insistently into these unknown lands and conquer them... forward, toward uncharted shores!”
Indeed, it was unchartered shores for him. Instead of following conventional practices of harmony and form, Mussorgsky’s compositional style is comprised of elements drawn from traditional Russian folk music such as recitative-like
melodies, unresolved dissonances, whole-tone scales, tri-tones, irregular meter and other novel embellishments true to expressing his emotional reality of his peasant subjects. As such, Donato Cabrera conducted with subtle humor and crisp agility, breathing new life into this popular piece.
The concert included renowned violinist Francesca Dego for Anna Clyne's “Masquerade" (which gave a musical-nod to the Masked Ball that followed this concert.) We were also treated to Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major.
Much loved conductor and music director, Donato Cabrera, emphasizes audience-connection by enhancing appreciation for these concerts with pre-concert lively lectures that are well attended. Furthermore, for these concerts a luxurious shuttle can be taken from convenient locations to the Smith Center, helping reach a wider audience.
This 21st Season includes 11 performances in an exhilarating mix of Masterworks and Pops concerts that celebrate cherished classical works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi, in addition to score-music from Danny Elfman and Tim Burton film collaborations.
Continuing the diversity is an all Kurt Weill program and two distinct holiday concerts including an all Baroque program with Handel’s Messiah.
The Philharmonic will highlight the best of Las Vegas entertainment in a "Very Vegas Showcase" with Keith Thompson's popular Composer’s Showcase, which brings together local song-writers, composers and vocalists once a month in an intimate, cabaret-style setting. Philip Fortenberry, Eric Jordan Young, and many others promise high-octane evenings that are as Vegas as it gets!
Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra
Go to www.lvphil.org for a fuller schedule and tickets.