Orchestrating (Sean Lara/Lariat Staff)
The harmonious melodies of the Saddleback Symphony Orchestra filled the McKinney Theatre on last Saturday night. The beautiful mixtures of string and wind instruments echoed wall to wall, honoring pieces by famous composers such as Malcolm Arnold, Jaromir Weinberger and Ludwig Beethoven.
The Saddleback Symphony Orchestra personnel is composed of Saddleback students and alumni and features wind and string instruments including violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone and percussion.
On Saturday, the orchestra started off with a beautiful piece composed by Malcolm Arnold, “Serenade for a Small Orchestra.” This particular serenade contains a sound of music that generalizes Arnold’s style.
Starting off soft, the first movement (“Allegretto”) has a beautiful theme that slows down during the second movement (“Andante Con Moto”), producing a mysterious tone. The third movement (“Allegro”) is fast and exuberant, traced with brass bands and English folk music.
The second piece played was a popular concert piece composed by Jaromir Weinberger, the “Polka and Fugue,” which comes from Weinberger’s greatest masterpiece, the opera “Schwanda the Bagpiper.”
This piece begins with a symphonic, catchy dance tune that mixes with a new, upbeat theme from the fugue. Then, as the piece comes to an end, the polka and fugue themes are played together simultaneously in a truly incomparable harmony.
After a seven-minute intermission, the orchestra finished strong with the energetic and noble “Symphony Number Two” by Ludwig Beethoven. Hector Berlioz, who created some of the best music criticism of the 19th century, wrote about this symphony: “The song is of a touching solemnity, and it at once commands respect and puts the hearer in an emotional mood. The rhythm is already bolder, the instrumentation is richer, more sonorous, more varied.”
In the first movement (“Adagio-Allegro”), the theme begins with fast motives from both wind and string instruments, joined by a happy melody of the orchestra. The second movement (“Larghetto”) is pure and simple, declared harmoniously by strings. Continuing in a tone just as innocent and happy as the prior, the third and fourth movements (“Scherzo” and “Allegro Molto”) are delicate and playful as the various instruments clash over fragments of a theme and all the different sounds come together magnificently.
As a symphony-orchestra amateur, I found the sounds of these beautiful harmonies very entrancing and emotional, in a peaceful way. The Saddleback Symphony Orchestra has great talent and puts on a remarkable performance.