Concerts Will End With A Bang
Nix the cannons. That’s the word from the Toledo Symphony, which teams up this weekend with the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps to present a pair of concerts featuring Tchaikovsky’s "1812 Overture," certainly the noisiest piece in the history of classical music.
Usually this concert closer is consigned to outdoors performances, and for good reason. The Boston Pops discharges howitzers for its annual Fourth of July performances along the Charles River. I once participated in a rural Wisconsin performance that featured a platoon of farmers blasting away with 12-gauge shotguns.
Instead of cannons, conductor Chelsea Tipton II will content himself with lots of percussion and a phalanx of Glassmen. That should prove more than enough in the Peristyle at the Toledo Museum of Art.
The concerts open in a quieter, if hardly less audacious way with Richard Strauss’ rambling and virtuosic 1895 tone poem "Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks." The composer offers the story of the legendary 14th-century German mischief maker who manages to insult just about everyone before authorities catch up and hang him. It’s a dreary sounding ending, but not one to be taken seriously. The world needs pranksters and Till’s spirit will not be vanquished, so say the music’s last bars anyway.
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