The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO) will present a special Baroque concert at Fairmont State University’s Colebank Hall on Monday, Oct. 23.
Led by Artistic Adviser and former WVSO Conductor Grant Cooper, the orchestra will feature Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and George Frederic Handel’s fanciful organ concerto entitled The Cuckoo and the Nightingale. In addition, the musicians will play works for various combinations of brass instruments by Andrea Gabrieli and his nephew Giovanni Gabrieli, important musicians in the Cathedral of St. Mark in Venice, whose unique sound properties gave rise to the composers’ styles. Guest violinist and Fayetteville, West Virginia, native Charles Morey and guest harpsichordist and organist Karl Paulnack will join the WVSO for the Vivaldi and Handel performances.
“This program will be a little out of the ordinary for us,” said Dr. Anne Patterson, coordinator of the Department of Music at Fairmont State. “We selected the baroque program because we can use it as a wonderful teaching tool within our department for both our majors and our many Music Appreciation students. Over the years, we have developed a vibrant educational partnership with the WVSO and Maestro Cooper, and we jumped at the opportunity to have authentically performed baroque music for this concert.
“The Four Seasons is a very popular piece, and I think the audience will love experiencing it in live performance. Throughout the program I think listeners will be delighted with the sound of the harpsichord and portative organ (a small, movable pipe organ), and surprised by the effects of separated choirs of instruments. This placement of instruments precedes by hundreds of years our modern stereo or surround-sound techniques,” she said.
Violinist Morey regularly performs in the country’s most prestigious halls, including the Kennedy Center, Severance Hall, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. He was recently named First Assistant Concertmaster for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Harpsichordist Paulnack will also be the organ soloist in Handel’s The Cuckoo and the Nightingale Organ Concerto in F Major, HWV 295.
The concert begins at 7:30 PM in Colebank Hall on the shared Fairmont State/Pierpont campus. Tickets are available at the Fairmont State University Box Office, 4th floor of Wallman Hall, or by calling 304.367.4240.