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The Hartford Symphony Orchestra Performs Symphonie Fantastique, Jan. 10-13 at the Bushnell
France, Russia, the good ole U.S.A.: composers from all over the place struggled to write symphonies in Ludwig Van Beethoven's (1770-1827) formidable shadow. On Thursday, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, led by Carolyn Kuan (pictured), kick off 2013 with the performance of one overwhelmingly successful approach: Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, a programmatic five-movement work strung together by an idée fixe, a musical idea that runs through the work, shape-shifting along the way. Also on the bill are Samuel Barber's virtuosic, jazzy Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, performed by the HSO and guest violinist Alexander Kerr, and Russian composer Sergei Rachmoninoff's Vocalise, an unusual, wordless ditty from his Fourteen Songs of 1912.
By Michael Hamad
January 7, 2013