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Column: Musings from the Maestro - Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Valentine's Day Weekend Concert

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Kim Allen Kluge

On Feb. 11 and 12, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra continues its season-long celebration of The Music of Dreams with its Valentine’s Day weekend concerts entitled "Prescient Revelation." I’m very excited about our thrilling series of concerts and its historic line-up of guest artists — truly a season of living legends.

Music and dreams seem to come from the same place in our subconscious, from the hidden realms of the human mind. The ASO’s exploration of this potent combination will feature music ranging from the blissfully tranquil to the electrifying. These masterpieces profoundly affected the composers who created them, and their magic continues to haunt us today.

The complexities and nuances of The Music of Dreams require music-making of extraordinary sensitivity and panache, and we are very fortunate to have guest artists this season who are renowned for those qualities. This Valentine’s Day Concert, I am thrilled to be collaborating with legendary clarinetist Richard Stoltzman as we perform Mozart’s blissfully beautiful "Clarinet Concerto." This music is full of unforgettable and exquisite tenderness. I cannot think of a better way to begin our Valentine’s Day Concert than with this extraordinarily evocative and moving music. Stoltzman has done more than anyone since Benny Goodman to popularize the clarinet and its unique expressive powers. And like Goodman, he is also a jazzer!

'Prescient Revelation'

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra/Symphonic NOVA presents clarinetist Richard Stoltzman performing Mozart’s "Clarinet Concerto." Program also features Mozart’s "Requiem" featuring Katharine Dain, soprano; Sarah Mesko, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Molkentin, tenor; Thomas Stork, bass-baritone; the Alexandria Choral Society: Brian Gendron, Artistic Director; and the Metropolitan Chorus: Barry S. Hemphill, Artistic Director. Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. At Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, 3001 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria. $5-$65. Visit alexsym.org or 703-548-0885.

And how does one follow such a feast for the ears and the soul? Why, with another masterpiece of Mozart’s, of course — his "Requiem," also written during the last year of his life. Milos Forman immortalized this "Requiem" in his bio-pic "Amadeus." The music was portrayed as being written in a feverish dream state as Mozart precariously hovered between this world and the next. Although the movie is highly fictionalized, the music does have the impact of a prescient revelation and powerfully evokes a dreamlike vision.

Mozart's two classics featured on this program are kindred spirits and share a dreamlike character. Long before modernism and knowledge of the subconscious, Mozart's music was able to tap into that special place in the brain where dream and reality converge.

Both the "Requiem" and the "Clarinet Concerto" were written during Mozart’s final days (he died at the age of 35). In these final bursts of other-worldly creativity, the essential spirit and character of Mozart, the man and artist poured out of his music. In these last pieces he combines a new level of sublimity and sweetness with his characteristic exuberance and joi de vivre!

Please join Richard Stoltzman, the Metropolitan Chorus, the Alexandria Choral Society and the musicians of the Alexandria Symphony on Feb. 11 and 12 for our Valentine’s Day weekend concerts. We also hope you will come and experience the remainder of the ASO's Music of Dreams Season. Our March concert will feature the legendary violinist Midori playing "Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto" as part of a week-long artistic residency. She will also take part in the world premiere of "Meibuki" (Regeneration), a piece I was commissioned to write for her in commemoration of the victims and survivors of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami.

See you at the Concert!

Together we are the music makers, the dreamers of dreams…

Kim Allen Kluge

Music Director

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra

Alexsym.org