Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Orchestra will have a second date wiith Bearden

The Charlotte Symphony is getting ready for Romare Bearden 2.0.

The orchestra opened this season's KnightSounds series last Friday by combining the Charlotte native's art -- projected on a screen above the players -- with music that amplified it. For instance: "Take the A Train" and other Duke Ellington hits became the soundtrack for Bearden's depictions of jazz musicians in full swing. The orchestra swung right along with them.

Versatility is one of American orchestras' virtues. The same musicians who dance a graceful Mozart minuet can turn around and kick up their heels with Bearden and the Duke. They'll have another date with Bearden on Nov. 3, when the orchestra plays an altered version of the concert at Central Piedmont Community College.

The bulk of the program will be the same, including the Ellington medley, Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" and Leonard Bernstein's "On the Town." If the orchestra delivers the "Fanfare" the way it did at the Knight Theater -- with the brass and percussion lined up across the stage, firing into the audience at almost point-blank range -- the Halton Theater may still be vibrating the next morning.

The concert will give the orchestra a second crack at the Bearden multimedia component, which hit a snag last Friday. Introducing Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings," conductor Jacomo Rafael Bairos told the audience about the black-and-white artworks that were in store. But as the music unfolded, the screen remained blank. What happened? The computer that was programmed with the images malfunctioned, according to the orchestra's executive director, Jonathan Martin.

Maybe the second time will be a charm. The concert will start at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at CPCC's Halton Theater. Unlike the KnightSounds evening, this one won't include free food beforehand or a free visit to an art museum. But the tickets are only $20 for adults, $12 for students. So it's still a good deal. Tickets are available from the Charlotte Symphony box office (not carolinatix.com in this case) at 704-972-2000; www.charlottesymphony.org.

Romare Bearden photo by Marvin E. Newman.


Anonymous said...

Really did not notice the lack of projected images - the music was what we were there for!
What a great show at the Knight, go catch it at CPCC.

Anonymous said...

What was wrong with the brass at the front of the stage? I really liked the effect, especially since the theater doesn't have a shell. I had a hard time hearing the horns especially when they were at the back of the stage. "Firing at Point blank range" just seems to be unfair. Most people thought the Copland was the best thing on the program as evidenced by the collage in the lobby