The Susanville Symphony shared its personal rendition of classical pieces by Schubert, Scheidt, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev Friday night at the Assembly of God Church. The symphony wowed and moved the audience while bringing together family and friends on a cold winter’s evening.
The music itself felt appropriate for the night as the close of the show brought on what seemed like the setting of a Russian winter, with quarter sized flakes of snow falling silently out of the air.
Arriving at the Assembly of God, the skies were clear and the night cold. Couples were holding each other close as they scurried across the parking lot and out of the freezing wind. Inside, a flurry of conversation filled the room as people were finding their seats and old friends.
The excitement from the symphony as they arrived on stage brought about immediate applause throughout the audience. The glistening of the instruments passing across the lights above twinkled in the eyes of concert goers as they waited for the music to rush into its quiet space. This was no ordinary concert.
The spirit of the performance was given in loving memory to the father of Benjamin Wade, the Susanville Symphony Society’s Artistic Director/Conductor. Wade’s father, Dr. William Raymond Wade, passed away November 2016. His love and talent of music motivated and drove Wade to pursue his current endeavor at the Susanville Symphony Society.
The first piece of the evening, “The Great C Major Symphony,” by Franz Schubert, often referred to as the “Great” by many, was a triumphant and proud piece and was dynamically executed. The work itself has been considered Schubert’s finest piece for orchestra.
The sound was quintessentially romantic and melodically grand.
Their second piece, “Galliarda Battaglia” by Samuel Scheidt shined with all the strength of the symphony’s brass. The bright roar of the trumpet, highlighted by the talent of their brass quintet: Paul Lenz, Ben Wade, Ray White, Kyle Smith and Matt Mullin, gave all listeners a rush.
Their third work of the evening, “Symphony No. 5” by Peter Ilitch Tchaikovsky, was a lively, joyful and grand. The work brought the first act to a jubilant close.
The second act brought a crescendo of energy through the vaulted ceilings of the church. With special guest violinist Oliver Leitner, the Symphony performed “Violin Concerto No. 1” from Sergei Prokofiev. The piece was the most exuberant of all the numbers of the evening and was left with a well-deserved and spontaneous standing ovation.
The immense talent of Leitner shone through his grand and majestic performance. With great accuracy and dynamic expression, he awed the audience with his speed and flow. The sounds from his violin emitted the beauty of bird songs in spring. Leitner’s movements were brisk and swift, and the sounds, which followed, surpassed the expectations of even a well-seasoned musician’s performance. So grand and precise was Leitner’s work, he was called for an encore upon the show’s close, again showcasing a phenomenal and otherworldly talent.
The work itself carried the overtones of sorrow, longing, love and passion with the sounds carrying listeners through an extraordinary emotional journey.
Overall, the symphony, once again, brought the beauty of music from around the world to our community. For the past 15 years, the Susanville Symphony Society has worked to bring the precious art of music to the ears of Northeastern California.