Windham Orchestra Presents the 'Human Condition'

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BRATTLEBORO — The Windham Orchestra explores the "Human Condition" with works by Strauss and Shostakovich, a performance that is in part a tribute to the passing of Orchestra violinist Gudrun Weeks.

The concert - set for Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Latchis Theatre - "is a profound, gorgeous and, one might even say, joyful exploration of different spiritual states," says Musical Director Hugh Keelan. "These works show us that tragedy is not necessarily sad - it can actually also be elevating."

Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs, are literally the composer's last works, and include are "Fr hling" (Spring), "September," "Beim Schlafengehen" (When Falling Asleep) and "Im Abendrot" (At Sunset).

As Keelan notes, "The last music we think Gudrun played with us was the violin solo from the song 'Falling Asleep'; this will be both difficult and essential for us to play."

Soprano Jenna Rae sings the inspiring and elevating cycle, and "the music offers the message that life goes on, even if life does not go on," says Keelan. "That concept, of course, is hard to put into words, which is why we have music."

Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8 continues the tour of the "Human Condition," he explains, "spotlighting conflict, strife, waiting, and the movement towards love and peace."

Like Beethoven, Shostakovich's work follows a "tragedy to triumph" progression, "but, like Beethoven, he does it in a very non-linear way. It is not an easy transition from one to the other."

Tickets range in price from $40 for preferred seating, $15 for general seating and may be purchased by calling the BMC at 802-257-4523, visiting the website at bmcvt.org, or stopping by the Center at 72 Blanche Moyse Way.

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