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MSO features cellist

February 18, 2001

MSO features cellist



By KEVIN CLAPP / Staff Writer


Maryland Symphony Orchestra Music Director Elizabeth Schulze warned those seated before her that the afternoon's second piece, Henri Dutilleux's "Tout un monde lointain," would be unfamiliar to them.

"We're going to take you on quite a journey," she said. "A great sound adventure."

Featuring David Hardy, principal cellist for the National Symphony Orchestra, audience members agreed during intermission that it was unlike anything they had heard before.

"I've never heard a cellist before in a concert. It was different. I enjoyed it, but there are things I like better," said Betty Sundstrom of Hagerstown. "It got better as it went along I thought."

"It was different, I think, something that we're not used to hearing in this area. Rather unique I guess is the word," said Fred Gross of Hagerstown. "I would say I enjoyed it, but I needed to get my ear trained for it."

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Sundstrom and Gross' point of view was echoed by others Sunday afternoon at The Maryland Theatre, where the MSO and Hardy performed their second concert in as many days.

Also performed during the Sunday afternoon performance was Benjamin Britten's "Four Sea Interludes" from "Peter Grimes." The concert concluded with "La Mer" by Claude Debussy.

Regardless of what they thought of the Dutilleux work, the audience heaped praise on Hardy, a Baltimore native.

Lucille Soper of Smithsburg said she was most impressed by the passion and range Hardy displayed in his performance.

"I didn't know the cello could make such high notes. It was pretty amazing," she said.

Fellow Smithsburg resident Barry Brown said Hardy was "quite a master."

"I watched his ability. He played with every extremity with that. It was amazing to feel music like he does," Brown said.

Soper also said it was nice to see a musician who calls this region home featured with the orchestra.

"It's extremely important to support and encourage local musicians and artists," she said. "It shows a great deal of sensitivity to the talent nearby."

Hardy joined Schulze during the opening prelude, one hour prior to the concert. He discussed the Dutilleux piece, playing sections of it to illustrate the discussion.

Schulze said Debussy's "La Mer" was one of the great masterpieces in orchestral literature because the composer chose not to depict the sea in traditional terms.

"It is remarkable and it was remarkable at the time," she said. "He goal was to evoke and suggest rather than depict or delineate."

Walking toward the exit, Sundstrom enthusiastically agreed.

"That last part was great," she said of "La Mer." "I just love songs that make me feel like I'm at the ocean."

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