Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Friday, October 12, 2012

Plainfield Symphony kicks off 93rd season Saturday

Noted local photographer David Beverly catches the PSO
in performing a large choral work at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church.

The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 93rd season Saturday night with a program featuring Edward Elgar and Jean Sibelius.

Who of us that is old enough can ever forget the haunting performance of the Elgar by Jacqueline du Pré, wife of conductor Daniel Barenboim, lost so tragically at an early age? (Her performance of the first movement can be seen on YouTube

The Plainfield Symphony's music director Charles Prince is to be commended for bringing this piece to our local audience. Composed at the end of the First World War, it has been described as Elgar's lament for a lost world, the seemingly idyllic world that was blasted away by the senseless bloodshed and mechanized horror of the First World War. The soloist will be Jameson Platte (more about Mr. Platte

Sibelius' music played a remarkable and subversive role in his homeland Finland's long struggle against twin dominations: culturally by Sweden and politically by Czarist (and eventually Soviet) Russia.

When Czar Nicholas II decided to crack down on the Finns at the beginning of the 20th century, he struck at freedom of the press. Sibelius offered incidental music for a pageant dedicated to raising money to benefit the press pension fund, but in reality as a way of offering moral support for the endangered press freedoms. The finale of that piece eventually became the highly nationalistic
Finlandia, familiar to all.

But Sibelius resisted being pigeonholed and rejected nationalistic interpretations of the Second Symphony, which was actually begun while he was on holiday in Italy and includes recycled material from an abandoned tone poem on Dante's
Divine Comedy (see more here).

Once again, Mr. Prince shows us the Plainfield Symphony can bring big music to a local audience. Huzzah!

The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra concerts begin at 7:00 PM and are offered at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, corner of East 7th Street and Watchung Avenue. Tickets for individual performances may be purchased at the door.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

I don't understand the lack of publicity for the season opener. That is how interest is generated and a cultural tradition maintained. Granted there is much to do and much to cover in central NJ, but isn't getting the word out what publicity is supposed to do? Has our local paper's editor simply written the symphony off in preference to covering aging rock stars and touring comedians? Is it a quid pro quo of advertising dollars for newsprint? It's a shame because the Symphony is a treat and a treasure for musician and audience alike. I will be there tonight if only to uplift my cranky spirits.