By Ken DeLaat
The Grand Rapids Symphony made their annual trek north to perform at the Dogwood Center last Wednesday and they did not disappoint
It has long been a late winter treat to have this world class symphony arrive in our parts for an enchanted evening of euphonious entertainment. A bit of a musical respite from the slow crawl that is March.
Conductor John Varineau is an engaging facilitator who weaves an interesting and often amusing anecdote involving each of the selections performed all the while artfully leading this talented orchestra.
This year’s melodic journey began with a series of suites from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg. There was a familiarity to the music for even an untrained like mine, particularly when “In The Hall of the Mountain King” (featured in a recent cola commercial) was given such royal treatment by the group.
They followed with music from Edward Elgar’s The Wand of Youth, light and lyrical numbers that were joined by some intriguing side trips.
After intermission the orchestra returned to once again take quick hold of the crowd with a dynamic interpretation of a suite from the ballet “The Magic Toyshop” featuring music by Ottorino Respighi based on piano pieces from Gioachino Rossini.
Once again this talented troupe has succeeded in providing concert-goers with the rare treat of seeing such a distinguished symphony performing in our backyard.
Kudos are in order to the GRS, The Dogwood Center and NCCA-Artsplace for continuing this unique collaboration and a huge thank you is also delivered to the Fremont Area Community Foundation and Nestle/Gerber for their support of this annual gift to a grateful community.
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