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Hear the movies at Delaware Symphony

The Delaware Symphony orchestra will perform songs from the cinema tonight in Wilmington. (photo courtesy DSO/Joe del Tufo)

The Delaware Symphony orchestra will perform songs from the cinema tonight in Wilmington. (photo courtesy DSO/Joe del Tufo)

The Delaware Symphony Orchestra invites you to come hear a movie tonight as it continues its 2016-17 Classics series in Copeland Hall of The Grand Opera House in Wilmington.

The concert titled “Music from the Silver Screen” will feature works by Wagner, Korngold, Bernstein and Ravel, composers whose works were either intended for film or found their place in some of the most popular movie soundtracks of all time.

“This is a nice opportunity to be able to showcase how classical music inhabits the cinema in one way or another because all these pieces share cinematic qualities,” said DSO Music Director David Amado.

It’s also a nice entrée for those who might find classical music a bit intimidating.

“This is a great program for people experiencing the symphony for the first time or for the first time in a long time,” said DSO Executive Director Alan Jordan.

Concertgoers will no doubt discover that they’ve been hearing symphonic music all their lives even if they’ve never set foot in a concert hall. Much of what they hear will be familiar because virtually every major composer in the 20th century wrote for film and many film composers wrote for orchestras as well.

The program will showcase the talents of guest artist Jinjoo Cho who will perform Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Cho performed the work to become Gold Medalist of the 2014 Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and according to Jordan, “she just blew everybody away with it.”

Erich Korngold (1897- 1957) was an Austrian-born prodigy who was equally at home writing for both the cinema—he won two Academy Awards—and the concert hall. Like many of his “serious” works in traditional genres, Korngold’s violin concerto reuses thematic material from his movie scores in each of its three movements.

“What I like about it is that it’s really well-written and intelligent but it’s totally unashamed of being beautiful,” Amado said. “This was a time when there was an active effort to avoid things that were romantic or sentimental or beautiful and he doesn’t. He just writes really beautiful music.”

Like Korngold, Leonard Bernstein moved with ease between Philharmonic Hall, the Broadway stage and the cinema. His Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” toss together everything from Tin Pan Alley to popular jazz to Latin rhythms to produce a postwar urban soundscape with symphonic sensibility.

“What’s interesting about the Bernstein is that like the late 19th century composers who took folk music and made it into concert music, Bernstein took the sounds of 112th street and put them into a concert-hall format,” Amado said.

Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” became a made-in-Hollywood hit when it got picked as the love theme for Dudley Moore and Bo Derek in the 1979 movie “10.” But romance was hardly on the composer’s mind when he wrote it half a century earlier. Ravel said the inspiration for the pulsing piece—which repeats the same theme 18 times—came from one of the factories he’d visited with his father, who was an engineer. So what makes it work in film?

“I think the uniformity of it makes it fit in a lot of different contexts,” says Amado. “There’s also a a sense—because of its repetition—that you enter this sort of twilight zone where time stands still and you just exist in it.”

That’s a completely different feeling from what you experience with Richard Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from his opera “Tristan und Isolde” which opens the program.

“Because of the way the music unfolds and because of the way the harmonic language works, Wagner makes you aware of every moment,” Amado said. “You’re acutely aware of every moment.”

If you go:

What:  The Delaware Symphony Orchestra 2016-17 Season Classics Series Concert 2 “Music from the Silver Screen”
Where: The Grand Opera House, Copeland Hall,  818 N. Market Street, Wilmington
When: Tonight at 7:30 p.m. Pre-concert discussion at 6:30 p.m.
For more information: www.delawaresymphony.org
To purchase tickets: www.ticketsatthegrand.org or call The Grand box office at 302-652-5577

Family concerts return

On Sunday, November 20, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra will bring back its popular Family Concerts. The program will feature Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story,” a movement from Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D Major featuring guest soloist Jinjoo Cho as well as Rossini’s overture to “The Barber of Seville” and the main title from “Star Wars” by John Williams.

The interactive event will be hosted by DSO Music Director David Amado.

If you go:

What: The Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Family Concert
Where: Cab Calloway School of the Arts Auditorium, 100 N. Dupont Road, Wilmington
When: Sunday, November 20 at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Tickets: $10 for adults and $5 for those under 18
For tickets, contact the Delaware Symphony Orchestra office: 302-656-7442 ext. 1000 or tickets@delawaresymphony.org

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