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The Charlotte Symphony's "Evenings in the Park" Continue with Daugherty, D'Indy, and Stravinsky

Jun 13, 2021

By Cecilia Whalen, CVNC 

The Charlotte Symphony's "Evenings at the Park" series continued on June 11th with a brief program of Daugherty, D'Indy, and Stravinsky. The concert was performed at Symphony Park and conducted by Christopher James Lees.

The evening featured only winds and percussion for each piece, in small ensembles. "Asclepius," a six-minute fanfare for brass and percussion by multiple-GRAMMY award-winning contemporary composer Michael Daugherty, opened the evening. The piece has a narrative quality that produces engaging moments of triumph as well as tribulation expressed through polyphonous brass, timpani, and bells and references the Greek character Asclepius, son of Apollo, and the god of medicine. Conductor Lees dedicated the piece to all of the healthcare workers who have fought against the year's pandemic.

"Asclepius" was followed by Chansons et Danses, an 1898 work by Vincent d'Indy, performed by a septet of woodwinds and French horn. D'Indy's "Chansons" section is gentle with a nostalgic reappearing melody that is sung sweetly through different instrumental voices. In contrast, the "Danses" are lively, beginning with a staccato layer of bassoon and oboe in the lower registers and flute and horn trilling and declaring overtop in the upper registers. Lees described the piece as demonstrating "the many aromas of Paris." In the opening "Chansons," we might imagine walking across the Seine at twilight; in "Danses," we hear more sounds of the street, perhaps those a little more mischievous. At times, the interacting staccato woodwinds even sound like an accordion echoing between buildings and cobblestone.

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