MSO features own musicians

November 19, 2000

MSO features own musicians

By KEVIN CLAPP / Staff Writer

Featuring its own performers instead of importing a guest soloist, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra pleased old fans and lured new ones Sunday at The Maryland Theatre.

"I don't think they need a guest, really. They do their thing as an orchestra," said Hagerstown resident Lee Canfield, who was attending one of his first MSO performances.

"I can't get over the sound. ... The sound is wonderful," he said. "I'll definitely be back."

In the second concert of its MasterWorks Series, MSO featured its own musicians with three pieces crossing the spectrum of emotions: Dvork's "Carnival Overture"; Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante; and Bartk's Concerto for Orchestra.

For the Mozart program, four of the orchestra's first chair performers were soloists: Beverly Butts, clarinet; Fatma Daglar, oboe; Joseph Lovinsky, French horn; Karen Smith Manar, bassoon.


"I appreciate the opportunity to hear some of the first chairs perform," said Bill Burgett of Hagerstown. "I don't miss having an outside guest when we have a performance like this."

For people who arrived early to hear her pre-concert discussion of the afternoon's program, MSO Music Director Elizabeth Schulze said the Bartk and Dvork pieces reflected the passion and commitment the composers had for their craft.

"Dvork really felt his personal, Bohemian or Czech roots, and brought these feelings of patriotism and cultural identity to his own music," Schulze said.

As for the Mozart piece, she said there are those who doubt Mozart wrote the entire work.

"Whether it is a forgery or not, it's a delightful piece of music that allows our four soloists to shine," Schulze said.

Met with loud applause at the end of their 40-minute performance, the soloists were a crowd-pleasing treat.

"The talent level is wonderful," Hagerstown resident Byron Pfeiffer said. "I think it's wonderful to know every performance these artists are here. It's amazing to me how well-traveled they are and how much time and effort they put into their musical education."

Virginia Peters of Williamsport agreed.

"I thought everything was just wonderful," she said. "It's inspiring. The music and how they play, it gets under your skin."

Pfeiffer said he was also impressed by Schulze's direction. He said it was the first time he had seen her in person and was glad to have the opportunity.

"I'm impressed with how enthusiastic she is," Pfeiffer said. "It looks like she makes it fun for the orchestra."

According to Burgett, the power of a performance like this one is that it allows the audience to become acquainted with the orchestra in a way that isn't always possible.

"It reveals a little bit about the orchestra that we don't often get to hear and see," he said. "We need to hear more of the individual performers."

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