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Bremerton Symphony strikes up Beethovens final symphony for its finale
Epitomizing a symphonic finale, the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra will be striking up the Ninth to close its 2006-2007 season this weekend.
Many composers throughout history have constructed ninth symphonies, but it almost goes without saying that when speaking of the Ninth, one is alluding to Ludwig Van Beethovens revered final work.
One of the most highly regarded and most well-known classical compositions of all time, Beethovens Ninth Symphony is an hour-long musical saga that travels from a stormy beginning to a kiss for the whole world in the final movement.
In its time the Ninth premiered in May of 1824 in Vienna, Italy Beethovens masterpiece was groundbreaking. Not only did the composer write, refine and quasi-conduct it under a blanket of deafness, the masterpiece was also one of the first major works in history in which a classical composer matched human voice with a symphony orchestra.
Today, just shy of 200 years later, the Ninths magnificence is just as profound.
When we were discussing doing Beethovens Ninth ... I told her I felt that it was a very big piece and in order for us to do that well ... we needed to ask another group to sing with us so that wed have enough singers, LeeAnne Campos, director of the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra Chorale, said of a conversation shed had with symphony conductor Elizabeth Stoyanovich.
The Symphony Orchestra Chorale has only 45 members, Campos said, which didnt quite seem rotund enough to match Beethovens wits with a near 75-piece orchestra. So the group employed the services of Teresa Frasers 35-strong Olympic College Chorale and tagged soloists Janeanne Houston (soprano), Lori Summers (mezzo), Wesley Rogers (tenor) and Andrew Parks (bass).
The kicker is, those 80 vocalists will be sitting dormant throughout the symphonys first three movements.
In the final movement, all of those musical forces combine under the German lyrics of Friedrich von Schillers poem Ode to Joy to a melody which likely half of the human race could hum.
It is the melodies, and it is the driving rhythms and the interesting texture of the piece, which Campos believes gives the Ninth its prestige and staying power.
While Beethovens genius is cloaked in mysteriousness, his Ninth Symphony has stood unabated through centuries for all to witness.
The Bremerton Symphony Orchestra will offer its rendition at 7:30 p.m. May 12 at the Bremerton High School Performing Arts Center 1500 13th St. in Bremerton. Tickets are $22 for adults, $10 for youth (under 18) and can be purchased either at the door, by calling (360) 373-1722 or online at www.bremertonsymphony.org.