Concert a cause for celebration

DOWNEY - "¬°Fiesta!" is coming to Downey Saturday, Oct. 22, and there is much to celebrate."Fiesta!" is the title of the next concert by the Downey Symphony Orchestra, bringing to our Civic Theatre music by Hispanic composers Arturo Marquez, Joaquin Rodrigo, Oscar Navarro and Maurice Ravel. (More later on how a Frenchman got in there.) One cause for celebration is the fact that composer Navarro will travel from Spain for this performance, the United States premiere of his symphonic poem, "El Arce de Noe," which describes how Noah received news of the impending Great Flood, and the sorrow he and his family felt that the earth would be destroyed. We hear the calls of elephants, whales, birds. Animals are taken aboard the ark. Then the first raindrops fall... When the great storm has passed, Navarro says in his program notes, "The gentle melody of the French horn and the whistle of the dove... in the distance represent the resurgence of new valleys and plains through the eyes of the future inhabitants of the earth..." Mr. Navarro arrives in our city with another gift in hand, a composition titled "Downey Overture." The ink is still wet. "This is a very exciting work," says Sharon Lavery, music director of the orchestra. "This is a piece written especially for the Downey Symphony for this specific occasion!" Celebration time. Also on the program are Marquez's at-once lyrical and manic "Danzon No. 2," and Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez," music of immense beauty and poignance, performed by a supremely gifted guitar soloist, Tim Callobre. Sharon Lavery presents an informative talk on the evening's music at 7:15 p.m., and concert time is 8. Downey's Civic Theatre is at 8435 Firestone Blvd. at the corner of Brookshire Avenue. Tickets, priced at $30 and $25, $10 for students, are available at the theater box office from 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday, or by phoning (562) 861-8211. Parking is free. (Celebration.) Now about that Frenchman. Maurice Ravel happened to write one of the biggest hits in all of classical music, and it belongs on this program. It's called "Bolero." It's Hispanic, hot-blooded, mesmerizing, unforgettable. An insistent rhythm from the snare drum begins so quietly you wonder if you hear it. Then instrumental sounds build, color on color, riding on that pulsing rhythm. Steam rises. There's a tremendous crescendo, then total exhaustion, total exhilaration. That's "¬°Fiesta!" Join us and celebrate! Information at -Joyce Sherwin, Downey Symphony

********** Published: October 20, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 27