In Thursday’s (4/4) Juneau Empire (Alaska), Amy Fletcher writes, “When the Juneau Symphony began planning for their 50th anniversary concerts, there wasn’t much debate about which piece should be chosen to mark this major milestone: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was it. ‘It’s just a gigantic kind of thing,’ said Juneau Symphony Music Director Kyle Wiley Pickett. ‘When WWII ends you play Beethoven Nine. When the Berlin Wall falls you play Beethoven Nine. When your orchestra turns 50 you play Beethoven Nine. It has ceremonial significance because its message is so great, and its message is about the brotherhood of man. It’s such a powerful piece.’ For the listener, Beethoven’s Ninth has the advantage of being not only familiar and uplifting but also mysterious and complex. … For Juneau, the concerts will be a community gathering on a grand scale. The orchestra and chorus together number about 150, and they will be joined by 30 singers from the Juneau-Douglas High School choir, who have been working with choral director Richard Moore, as well as a handful of out-of-town musicians and four solo performers—Kathleen Wayne, Missouri Smyth, Brett Crawford and Philippe Damerval; that brings the total number of performers up to more than 170.” The concerts take place this weekend.
Posted April 5, 2013