Dearborn Symphony opens 53rd season with sizzling acoustical feast

Phyllis.pngwebThe art of pairing wine with food remains a challenge for weekend kitchen warriors as well as season chefs. While some may adhere to conventional rules in the end it seems it is all a matter of taste.

With that in mind it is the brave thinkers replete in the knowing of what they like, who create trends. And no one is more daring than the Dearborn Symphony’s own music director and conductor Kypros Markou who blended music from American contemporary composers, an old world master, and one worldly guest artist making for a tasty symphony season opener.

The symphony, composers old and new, and guest saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky made for a pleasing musical combination Oct. 10 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. Featuring Radnofsky on sax, music from Aaron Copland, Paul Creston and Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky, music director and conductor Kypros Marko matched contemporary American styles with legendary classics.

Opening with a sweet “Star Spangled Banner” overture, the evening bubbled with enthusiasm. Serving Copland’s “El Salo’n Me’xico” hot for starters, the spicy score marked the beginning of Copland’s populist period.

The influence came to Copland in a visit to Mexico in 1932 where he met composer Carlos Chavez. After a night in a local dance club Copland wrote of his experience in his autobiography, “In those crowded halls, one really felt a live contact with the Mexican people — the electric sense one gets in far-off places, of suddenly knowing the essence of a people — their humanity, their separate shyness, their dignity and unique charm.”

While Copland was concerned he fell short of his goal, this work reflects his overall impression of the Mexican people. Nothing fell short of the masterful delivery of the Dearborn Symphony as the orchestra delivered this unique Copland work.

The second piece Creston’s “Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, Op.26” featured Radnofsky on saxophone. His soulful eloquence uncorked a smooth sound. Like a good bottle of wine, Randofsky rich, full notes flowed easily filling the house with what could be thought of as the season’s gold standard.

Radnofsky’s list of accolades includes performances with the New York Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, and Taipei and Taiwan symphonies, and composers such as Gunther Schuller, David Amram, and James Yannatos having written for him.

The savory evening finished with Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op.36.”

The talented musicians simmered the scores with unyielding precision as well as passion. The orchestra served up what was one of its best performances.

Nov. 14, marks the next Dearborn Symphony performance at the Ford Center. The show will feature the music of Berlioz, Mozart, Diamond, Bizet, and guest pianist Soyeon Kate Lee.

The concert is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $10 to $30 and can be bought in advance or at the door.

For more information go to dearbornsymphony.org or call 313-565-2424.