ECO delights with ‘Old and New’


I always seem to forget that music is not made by a computer and plugging your headphones into a phone is not the only way to listen to songs.
Even going to see a live performer, it is their voice, not the music, I pay close attention to in an attempt to understand what the lyrics mean.
After an evening with the Erie Chamber Orchestra (ECO), I was reminded how music was created, and it astounded me.
Who knew that rubbing two strings together, or blowing into a brass contraption could create such sweet sounds, and that together they could produce melodies and symphonies that tell stories in and of themselves?
Though not a stranger to classical music, I always forgot the ECO was just a walk away, but after this weekend’s concert, I surely will not forget again.
The night started off with a beautiful view inside the Church of the Covenant, home to high vaulted ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows. In other words, the music matched the venue perfectly.
As guest conductor Vincent Danner took his place, the music of Jacques Ibert began. The French composer is known for mixing together two different styles of classical music — classicism and impressionism.
Classicism is a clear and controlled style of composition, where impressionism is the exact opposite of that.
Opposites seemed to attract in this case, where intense piano met sweet flutes and strings.
My only dislike was the loud whistle that played during the finale of the symphony that left a ringing in my ears afterward.
To continue with the music, up next was George Walkers’ “Lyric for Strings,” a lovely string piece that was pure magic to my ears. The piece was originally a dedication song to his deceased grandmother.
The richness of each violin carrying such a moving harmony nearly brought tears to my eyes with each epic climax of the music.
The soloist for the evening, Christopher Rapier, was a tad quiet on the French horn at the beginning of the “Horn Concerto,” but his addition to the hard work put in by the ECO only added to the evening.
Finishing off the night was Mozart’s Symphony No. 39. Mozart created this piece, along with two other symphonies, within a six-week time period.
The symphony opens with a sweet string melody, quickly adding horns and more to bring depth to the song but keep the graceful flow the strings began. Simply put, the ECO did Mozart proud by this listener’s ears.
With the work of the ECO’s musicians and the lovely playlist put together for this concert, the evening left me excited for the next concert, one this new classical music enthusiast will not miss.

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