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  • Writer's pictureJackson Harmeyer

14. Among Stained Glass – Rapides Symphony Orchestra to Present Stained Glass and Strings Sunday

Arvo Pärt
Arvo Pärt (1935- )

The Rapides Symphony Orchestra will offer their concert Stained Glass and Strings at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral this Sunday, January 26. This is one of those concerts that I have been looking forward to for many months. And, with a program of Bach, Tchaikovsky, and Arvo Pärt, how can you go wrong?

While the first two names are universally known, Pärt might be unfamiliar to a good number of you. He is one of those many talented composers of contemporary classical music—and, yes, such a thing exists—that is overshadowed by both the centuries of classical repertoire and the publicity afforded to popular songwriters. He was also one of the four composers besides Bach whom I emphasized in my undergraduate thesis “Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.”

A native of Estonia, Pärt was once one of those radical avant-gardists who spoke-out against Soviet restrictions upon the arts by intentionally defying those regulations. As his compositional voice matured though, he looked for greater depth in his music turning away from political overtones and towards the musical overtones produced by the ringing of bells. These new overtones gave him the inspiration for his tintinnabuli method of composition. From the Latin for “bell,” it is this tintinnabuli method with its flowing melodies and tolling chords that will be on display Sunday in his composition called Fratres.

Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

As for Johann Sebastian Bach, the Rapides Symphony Orchestra will be performing his Keyboard Concerto in A major, BWV 1055. Based on a concerto for oboe d’amore (a relative of the modern oboe), Bach transformed the original concerto into a concerto for harpsichord. Now, the Rapides Symphony Orchestra will perform it alongside the talented pianist Loredana Lentini.

And, finally, it will be his Serenade for Strings which Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky will contribute to Sunday’s concert. For those of you who enjoyed the Red River Dance Theatre Company’s presentation of The Nutcracker this holiday season, join the Rapides Symphony Orchestra this Sunday for Tchaikovsky’s balletic Serenade for Strings.

This fantastic concert will start at 2:30 PM this Sunday, January 26 at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Alexandria’s Downtown Cultural Arts District. Interested in learning more? Click here to read my informative program notes. Remember to return frequently to MusicCentral to learn more about upcoming concerts in central Louisiana.

JSH 14.01.23

About Jackson. Jackson Harmeyer is a recent graduate of the Louisiana Scholars’ College—Louisiana’s designated honors college located on the campus of Northwestern State University. There, he studied music history, completing an undergraduate thesis entitled “Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.” Now living in Alexandria, he is one of the founding members of TicketCentral and will also be writing this season’s program notes for the Rapides Symphony Orchestra.

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