Although often accused of being too cerebral, classical music can also be fun and playful, as evidenced by Mozart’s comic opera _The Marriage of Figaro_ and Bach’s best-selling box set of prank calls. Get tickled by piccolos with this GrouponLive deal to see Masterworks 2: In Nature's Realm, presented by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra at the Southern Theatre. For $23, you get one ticket for Huntington circle or loge seating (up to a $75.90 value, including all fees). Choose between the following shows:
- Friday, October 19, at 8 p.m.
- Sunday, October 21, at 3 p.m.
Doors open one hour before showtime. WOSU's Christopher Purdy shares his classical-music expertise in a preconcert talk that begins one hour prior to each performance.
As part of the Masterworks series, the CSO's musicians band together under the baton of Jean-Marie Zeitouni for an evening of music inspired by the natural world, beginning with Rossini's overture to his opera William Tell. Though best known for its iconic cavalry-charge finale, the piece opens with a dreamy meditation that evokes sunrise in the Alps, painting a gradually lightening landscape with trembling cello lines that float above double bass.
Next, French composer Jean-Féry Rebel's Les Élémens continues its history of startling audiences with its avant-garde boldness. Written in 1737, the piece eschews the mannered sequencing of most Baroque music to deliver a bombastic tone poem depicting the creation of the world. The piece opens with a cacophonous series of jarring string tremolos and rattling harpsichord explosions, evoking the imposition of order on chaos and the 18th century's rockingest college parties.
Dubbed the Pastoral Symphony, Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 closes out the evening with some of the composer's most tender, beatific musical moments. Split into five movements, the symphony narrates a day spent in the countryside: each section evokes a different aspect of a rural journey, starting with the first movement's bubbling oboe that suggests the traveller's brightening mood as he leaves the chaos of the city. Other highlights include the fourth movement's dancing violins and grumbling bass, which conjure up the first drops of rain and rumbling of distant thunder before crashing percussion jolts listeners with visions of lightning and torrential downpours.
The oldest surviving theater in central Ohio, the fin de siècle elegance of the Southern Theatre's jewel-box auditorium transports audiences back to the days of vaudeville antics and silver-screen spectacle. Built in 1896 to state-of-the-art standards, the theater's bandshellesque proscenium bucked architectural norms to funnel sound into the seats. Its 204 light bulbs required that the theater generate its own electricity for years, until scientists figured out that nobody needed to worry about that stuff.