Polish works, Lira Quartet Singers at Northwest Symphony concert

Northwest Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of guest conductor Ray Ostwald, will present a concert at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15, in the theater at Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights (between Golf and Algonquin Roads).

Maestro Ostwald's preconcert commentary begins at 2:45 p.m. The concert, being held in partnership with the District 214 Community Education Program, is a celebration of dance music for orchestra, and will feature, along with NSO, a quartet composed of members of the Lira Quartet Singers, an award-winning vocal ensemble that specializes in the music of Poland.

Chopin's Polonaise Op. 40, No. 1, nicknamed "Military," was originally written for piano, was later orchestrated by the Russian composer Glazunov. At the outset of the German invasion of Poland, the Polonaise was broadcast daily on Polish radio to rally the spirits of the newly-oppressed people.

Czech composer Antonin Dvorak wrote a series of Slavonic Dances celebrating the music of his native land. Slavonic Dance No. 8, at once forceful and joyous, alternates rapidly between major and minor modes, with the major mode emerging triumphant.

American composer Aaron Copland wrote the ballet Rodeo to showcase the heroes of the American West. "Hoedown" recreates the barn dance that united people after the work was done or the tribulations had passed.

Tadeus Kosciuszko was a military engineer who aided the American cause in the Revolutionary War. The Kosciuszko Medley, arranged by Philip Seward of Columbia College Chicago and Michael Przygoda, celebrates this hero in this Polish-inspired works, performed here by Northwest Symphony and Lira Quartet Singers.

Philip Seward believes that music should be "thought provoking and exciting for performer and audience alike". His work, Rivers, commissioned and performed by the Lira Quartet Singers, fulfills that mission as well as includes the well-known traditional folk tune Shenandoah.

The classical Polish dance form, Polonaise, has been celebrated by many composers of many nationalities. Josef Swider's (1830-1914) Polonaise, for orchestra and vocalists, employs folk-like melodies in a folk-dance format).

Arturo Marquez's Danzon No. 2 features complex, "catchy" rhythms that dramatize the music of Latin America.

Individual concert ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students. Children under age 14 are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets will be available at the door. To purchase in advance, call the box office at Forest View at (847) 718-7702.

The Northwest Symphony Orchestra will present a concert April 15 in Arlington Heights, and will be joined by the Lira Quartet Singers, an award-winning vocal ensemble that specializes in the music of Poland. Courtesy of Northwest Symphony Orchestra
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