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Wincence wows MSO audience

November 13, 1999|By MEG H. PARTINGTON

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra's program Saturday night proved that some of the best ideas are borrowed.

The first piece on the program, Felix Mendelssohn's "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage,'' was seasoned with Beethoven.

As a teen, Mendelssohn was visiting his mentor, German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, when he came across the manuscript for a Beethoven cantata bearing the same title of his future piece. Music Director Elizabeth Schulze played the Beethoven cantata during Prelude, an informational discussion period prior to the concert at The Maryland Theatre, so the audience could hear the parallels.

"It's a delightful piece. It's not a second or lesser Beethoven," Schulze said of Mendelssohn's piece.

Christopher Rouse's "Flute Concerto,'' co-commissioned by flutist Carol Wincenc and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, was inspired by the Celtic tradition.

"This is an important concerto for the flute. It stands very, very much on its own feet," Schulze said. "This is a piece of great substance and great beauty."

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The last piece on the program, Edward Elgar's "Enigma Variations,'' featured sounds borrowed from Mendelssohn's "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage.''

The mix of classical and contemporary music entertained and educated the audience.

Larissa Doran, who is studying the flute at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va., was inspired by Wincenc, who performed the Rouse concerto with MSO.

"She was wonderful," said Doran, of Martinsburg. "It makes me want to go home and practice."

Susan McCardell of Hagerstown appreciated hearing a contemporary piece.

"It was interesting and we all learned," McCardell said. "I liked the first part and the last part. The flutist was fantastic."

The Mendelssohn piece proved soothing to June Wagner of Hagerstown.

"I actually just closed my eyes," she said. Doing so helps her better appreciate the music, she said.

The orchestra garnered its share of praise, too.

"I think they are in fine form tonight," said Jim Applebaum of Mercersburg, Pa.

"The orchestra was playing well together," agreed Scott Peeler, also of Mercersburg. He said the members seemed excited about the performance even during their warm-ups on stage.

MSO performs again today at 3 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre. Prelude starts at 2 p.m.

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