Concert favorites and concert discoveries

The Omaha Symphony invites you in.


You may not be familiar with the name of composer Nino Rota. But you’ve probably heard his music. He wrote the scores for more than 150 films, including The Godfather Part II for which he won an Oscar. Certo, being Italian, he worked with i maestri, Visconti, Zeffirelli, and most especially Fellini. Of course, seated in a darkened theater with all that dialogue and action unfolding, you may have not noticed the music in its own right.  

Now you have a chance to devote your attention to what this man wrote to be heard in its own right, amid dozens of orchestra, choral and chamber works. Plus, by the way, ten operas and five ballets. This month at a Symphony Joslyn concert you can listen to his extremely well-known Concerto for Strings played in the Omaha Symphony’s Symphony Joslyn. This baroque-inspired, sometimes jolly piece was written when Rota was in his mid-50s, around the time he’d been working with Fellini in Juliet of the Spirits and on Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. 

Plus his Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra from the same highly creative period. “Robust,” “lyrical,” “singing” and “lively” are words used by program annotator Paul Schiavo to describe this piece. He also mentions a spirit similar to that of Rota- countryman Rossini in the overture to La Cenerentola which, no surprise, will be performed prior-hand. The soloist is principal trombonist Patrick Pfister.

Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, the “Prague, ” also brightens the event. This was one of Mozart’s last, deemed a masterpiece. (“A crowning achievement,” says Schiavo.)

Visiting American conductor Ari Pelto takes the podium. He’s got major opera credits in New York, Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Portland, Minnesota, Virginia and Utah plus ballets in Atlanta.

Revelations and revisits to favorites. Molto allegro.

This Symphony Joslyn concert is Nov.22 at Joslyn Art Museum’s Witherspoon Hall, 2200 Dodge St. 2 p.m. Tickets: $33. www.omahasymphony.org


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