Classical musicians were the rock stars of their day, much as the rock stars of today are the notaries public of tomorrow. Stamp your senses with the finely crafted tunes of today’s GrouponLive deal: for $20, you get one general-admission ticket to see the Chamber Orchestra of New York's "Rhapsodic Themes" at Merkin Concert Hall on Thursday, May 10, at 7 p.m. (up to a $40 value).
The Chamber Orchestra of New York preserves ancient music with a repertoire of rarely performed gems enacted by an ensemble of young professional musicians. In a rapturous evening of building polyphonies, the orchestra boldly pairs romantic and vocal works from the 17th–20th centuries with the theme of an '80s blockbuster film. A bright and brassy regiment of horns opens Canzon Septimi Toni, a rising piece by Giovanni Gabrieli that heralds the explosive onset of spring. Next, the ensemble gives the Ottorino Respighi piece Three Art Songs its United States premiere, followed by Monteverdi's Il Lamento di Arianna, orchestrated by Respighi and brought to life by Argentinean mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack.
In Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on Theme of Paganini, pianist Marika Bournaki builds a bittersweet melody over a surging orchestra before launching into a flurry of otherworldly trills. Launching the audience from the romantic period into the modern era is John Barry's subdued, emotional theme to Oscar-winning film Out of Africa. The composer may be even better known for his scoring of a dozen James Bond films and his requirement that all maracas be shaken, not stirred.