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West Mich. Symphony to celebrate great Czech composers

Anonymous • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:14 AM

The concerts will be held at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, 425 W. Western Ave. in downtown Muskegon, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19.

The symphony will revisit the wealth of music created in Prague, the capital of the former Bohemia, around the turn of the century. Celebrated composers Antonin Dvorak, Bedrick Smetana and Leos Janacek contributed rich, exciting works honoring their culture and native land.

“These are the three most prominent Czech composers, and they have all had tremendous influence,” said WMS Music Director Scott Speck. “Czech nationalism was all about showing their countrymen that this heritage was equally worthy of celebration and glorification, not just a pale cousin to the stars of Germany and Austria — Beethoven and Brahms, for example.”

Incredibly patriotic, the works of Dvorak repeatedly speak to his love of his native soil, but it was “Symphony No. 8” that most reflects the passion he held for his country. Throughout his career, he freely incorporated folk elements into his music, utilizing characteristic peasant rhythms and melodic motives. In “Symphony No. 8,” these folk elements can be heard in the rhythms and melodic movements. The work constantly shifts between major and minor modes, yet its predominant themes feature the flute and are reminiscent of birdsong.

Season and individual tickets can be purchased by calling the West Michigan Symphony ticket office at 231-726-3231. Student tickets are free for this concert only, but are not available online. College students must present ID when they purchase tickets.

Single tickets for this concert are $15, $31 and $42. They may be purchased online at www.westmichigansymphony.org, and in person or by calling at the West Michigan Symphony ticket office.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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