Fifty-two seasons: a legacy of music
At 8 p.m. Aug. 24 in the McMahon Memorial Auditorium guests gathered to listen as an elite group of musicians filled the stage with “A Legacy of Music.” Conducted by award-winning director and Cameron University alumnus, Maestro Jon Kalbfleisch — the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra began their 52nd season.
CU Professors, John Moots, Doris Lambert, Dr. James Lambert, Dr. Kirsten Underwood and Senior Percussion major, Quinton Williams represented the CU Music Department.
The evening opened with Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio Overture. The upbeat yet complex piece allowed each performer to be heard as they played vigorously until the Overture concluded. As stated in Maestro Kalbfleisch’s “Notes on the Music,” the overture tumbled right into the action without stopping.
The second piece — Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor — included three movements, Allegro molto appassionato, Andante and Allegro molto vivace. The piece showcased the string instruments along with the evening’s featured soloist — 1994 winner of the Louis D. McMahon International Music for Strings Competition and world-renowned performer — Violinist, Lee – Chin.
Executive Director of The Lawton Philharmonic, Peggie Hightower, said Chin has performed all over the world but was specifically impressed with the Louis D. McMahon International Music Competition she competed in — and won — nineteen years ago.
“When I visited with Chin,” Hightower said, “she said she was fascinated with Louis D. McMahon’s vision to have the competition and she is very dedicated to supporting the Arts.”
Although she has won several competitions all over the world, Hightower said Chin holds a special place in her heart for the Louis D. McMahon competition.
“Out of the two awards that mean the most to her, the Lawton competition was one of her favorites,” Hightower said. “The reason was because she admired McMahon’s loyalty to music and was willing to come and perform for the Lawton Philharmonic today because of that.”
Followed by Mendelssohn’s three-movement piece and intermission, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, Op. 47 closed the evening.
The Principal Trumpet Player, Moots said Symphony No. 5 was his favorite piece of the evening. The Philharmonic is composed of professional musicians from across Oklahoma.
“There are only three rehearsals before the concert, and it can be a challenge to be consistent — especially when the brass section has not played together in four months,” Moots said.
Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, Op. 47 consisted of four movements — Moderato, Allegretto, Largo and Allegro non troppo. Maestro Kalbfleisch said the symphony was Shostakovich’s response after being denounced for his Fourth Symphony.
“The Soviet authorities banned many of Schostakovich’s mature works,” Maestro Kalbfleisch said. “He was at one point attacked for writing ‘muddle instead of music’ and when he was denounced after his Fourth Symphony — he wrote the Fifth in 1937 and was immediately successful.”
Maestro Kalbfleisch said although Schostakovich’s music has been criticized as derivative and vulgar, he believed Schostakovich was successful in bringing emotional power to his music.
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