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Some of the world's greatest romantic classical music will be performed on Valentine's Day by the ODU Symphony Orchestra and ODU Percussion Ensemble.

The concert, scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, in the atrium of the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center, features the winners of this year's ODU Concerto Competition - baritone Anthony Marcano, a senior music performance major,
and Kevin Jones, a sophomore music performance major and principal cellist of the ODU Symphony. They and their fellow musicians will fill the atrium with the music of Wagner, Rossini, Elgar, Bizet and Shchedrin. Under the direction of conductor Leslie Stewart, the orchestra will open with Siegfried Idyll, a surprise birthday present Wagner wrote for his
wife, Cosima.

"This most romantic of composers arranged to have the piece performed by 13 musicians on the stairway to her bedroom just as she was waking up. She wrote later in her diary that it was the most beautiful music she had ever
heard," Stewart said.

Perhaps the most famous aria from Rossini's most famous opera, "Largo al factotum," introduces the barber Figaro. Known as the town matchmaker, he sings in mock complaint that whenever anyone needs anything, he gets the call. Later in the opera, Figaro saves the fair Rosina from the disaster of an arranged marriage.

Elgar's Cello Concerto (Finale) is one of the most romantic works of the 20th century, "even though it was written by an Englishman," Stewart notes. Composed in 1919, it is his last major work. Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin arranged Bizet's Carmen Suite for strings and percussion in 1967. Based on the opera which features a most colorful heroine - the haughty, flirtatious and ultimately tragic Carmen - "the music will be familiar to everyone in spite of the unusual instrumentation," Stewart says. This performance will feature the Percussion Ensemble, conducted by David Walker.

This article was posted on: February 11, 2004

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