The Paducah Symphony Orchestra opens it’s 2017-2018 season this Saturday. On Sounds Good, George Eldred speaks with Maestro Raffaele Ponti about the performance.
The show starts off with Leonard Bernstein’s overture to Candide. Ponti says he is opening and closing the season with Bernstein to celebrate the composer’s 100th anniversary. Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess follows. Ponti says he paired Bernstein and Gershwin together because the two share similar yet opposite backgrounds. Bernstein was classically trained but all of his pieces have a jazz idiom, whereas Gershwin came from New York’s jazz scene but stayed involved with Carnegie Hall because he wanted to be recognized as a classical musician.
The performance ends on the First Symphony by Italian composer Giovanni Sgambati, a name which may be new to many. Ponti says this season will feature a diverse selection of composers.
“The more I delve into these scores and listen and study, I think to myself, ‘Why are we not hearing this great repoitoire being performed more frequently?’ because it could have a foothold on the main stage,” Ponti said. “The thing is, is that our ear gets a little bit thin because people keep playing the same top 50 greatest hits of classical music and we forget these names of other composers from the 1800s.”
The opening show starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. at The Grand Lodge.