CSO performs ‘first works’ with new sophistication

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Percussion instruments. PhotoCo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percussion_section

The Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Symphonic Firsts and Yumi Hwang-Williams’ was filled to the hymn with amazing sound and visual stimulations. The concert featured the first compositions of the well-known composers: Franz Joseph Haydn, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Ludwig van Beethoven. Many of these first works influenced many later pieces such as Beethoven’s very well known composition, Symphony No. 5.

Symphonic Firsts was held at Boettcher Hall, located in the Denver Performing Arts Center. The venue offered great parking and refreshments. These refreshments ranged from water, soda, and pretzels, to expensive wine and cheese. The concert hall is also within walking distance of many restaurants including The Edge and Maggiano’s, so visitors can grab a bite to eat before or after the performance.

Boettcher Hall is a 3,000 seat concert hall with comfortable seats and beautiful wooden floors. There are many large, metal disks elegantly hung from the ceiling like a chandelier, to project the sound of the orchestra and make the concert hall alive with music. All the seats in the hall had a good view of the orchestra and its players.

Haydn’s Symphony No. 1 in D major started off the concert with a powerful kick. The song featured three movements: a presto, an adagio in G major, and another presto. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) captured the piece’s 18th century charm with perfect intonation, synchronized bowing, and lively pizzicato.

Next came a breathtaking performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10, that featured an allegretto, an allegro, a lento, and an allegro molto.  The song included a full orchestra with brass, percussion, piano, and more. Shostakovich’s more modern 20th century style really shined through in the performance. The CSO had dynamic changes that could make the audience jump in their seats. The orchestra went from playing so softly that you could hear a pin drop, to an earth-shattering forte.

After a fifteen minute intermission, the grand finale of the concert was a showstopper, with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, which included an allegro ma non troppo, a larghetto, and a rondo. The centerpiece of this song was Yumi Hwang-Williams, who currently is the concertmaster for the CSO and the violin soloist during this piece. Hwang-Williams wore a beautiful, sequined, black dress, that was almost as breathtaking as her playing. She played with unbelievable sound quality, impeccable rhythms, and exceptional emotion.

Claude Sim (Violinist), Yi Zhao (Violinist), Silver Ainomae (Cellist), and Brooke Ferguson (Flutist) were some of the many other soloists throughout the evening. They all showed great talent and made the pieces stand out.

The conductor for the concert was Cristian Macelaru, a guest conductor that usually conducts for the Philadelphia Orchestra. He really got into the music and gave strong cues for entrances and dynamic changes.

Although, the Symphonic Firsts concert only played through April 19th, the CSO will continue to perform with the high standards their audience demands. The full list of all upcoming concerts in the 2015 to 2016 season can be found on their website at www.coloradosymphony.org.

The tickets for any of their shows can be bought either online or at the ticket booth located in the concert hall. Any students can get a ten dollar ticket if they show a valid student ID when purchasing tickets from the ticket booth. This can save up to 70 dollars or more on an individual ticket. The CSO hopes this deal will help to get more students to appreciate classical music and maybe even take part in it.

Overall, any trip to see the Colorado Symphony Orchestra is well worth the time and money. It is an all around enjoyable experience that will last a lifetime.

Ella Stilwell, Guest reporter

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