For the past two weeks the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) has been busy serving up two divergent programs – the first, a night of Russian-oriented works and a the second, a lighter serving of “Spring” serenades. Tonight, under the solid work of maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto, Jr., the members will return to their classical foundation with a program that features the rarely-performed, but sprightly Beethoven Symphony No. 7.
With the possible exception of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, most critics agree that the composer’s best works were his odd-numbered symphonies. While the Symphony No. 7 may lack the staying power of the groundbreaking Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica) or the difficult Symphony No. 9 (“Choral”), it does provide moments of brilliance brilliance and majesty that make it a crowd pleaser.
Prieto takes delight in presenting Guatemalan composer Jorge Alvaro Sarmientos’ Concertino for Marimba, composed in 1957. Principal LPO percussionist and assistant tympani player Nena Lorenzwill perform on marimba with her fellow players the during the first half of tonight’s program. What makes that even more important is that it was recently revealed that Lorenz is a breast cancer survivor, who underwent chemotherapy and surgery in 2010 and has been given a clean bill of health by her doctors.
Tonight’s program also contains the Arnold Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E major written for a 15-piece chamber ensemble. The piece written in 1906 and premiered a year later is written for six strings, eight woodwinds and a brass section consisting of two French horns. Schoenberg did revisit his Kammersymphonie, Op. 9 in 1935 after emigrating to the United States when he wrote a transcription for full orchestra which bears the opus designation of 9b.
Tickets for the event to be held tonight at the First Baptist Church on Canal Boulevard are still available.