AUBURN — The Augusta Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of its long-time conductor Paul Ross, will present a program of music spanning the Baroque through the 1940s, with several guest soloists, including soprano Joelle Morris.

The concert will open with Aaron Copland’s stirring Fanfare for the Common Man. Written at the beginning of America’s participation in World War II, the Fanfare is a bravura piece for brass and percussion designed as a patriotic morale builder during the early and dark days of the war. It was later incorporated into his final Symphony No. 3.

Teresa Henderson and Christopher Lansley, with continuo support from Brad Howard, are the featured soloists in Domenico Cimarosa’s Concerto for Two Flutes and Continuo. As with most Italian composers of that era, Cimarosa was most noted for his numerous and successful operas, but his output included a number of liltingly Italianate instrumental and orchestral works, too.

Richard Strauss was already the dean of German composers when he wrote his Four Last Songs, with the celebrated Wagnerian soprano, Kirsten Flagstad, in mind. These songs, written shortly before he died in 1949 at the age of 85, were his elegiac farewell to his beloved Germany, which was laid in ruins by World War II. Suffused with twilight and longing, these Four Last Songs were a fitting valediction to a distinguished career. Morris, the director of the CODA Chorus and a solo singer, will be the featured soloist in this exquisite music.

As a reluctant symphonist, Johannes Brahms lived in the immense shadow of Beethoven throughout his life. Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 was written when the composer was in his 40s and the work that the ASO will conclude these concerts with, the Symphony No. 4, was to be his last. Cast in the standard four movements, the Symphony No. 4 has remained a popular work ever since its premiere performance on October 25, 1885, under the baton of the composer himself.

The ASO will perform this program on succeeding evenings, first at the High Street Congregational Church in Auburn on Saturday, April 12, and then the following evening of Sunday, April 13, at Hope Baptist Church in Manchester. Both concerts will start at 7 p.m. Admission for adults is $10 and children and students are admitted for free.

For more information, call 207-446-4788 or visit www.AugustaSymphonyMaine.org.


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