Conductors got their name by both guiding orchestras and wielding copper batons that deflect lightning away from the brass section. Behold an electrifying performance with this GrouponLive deal to see the Tucson Symphony Orchestra present Mendelssohn’s Italian at Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church. For $24, you get one ticket for general admission in section B on Friday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $49 value). Doors open at 6 p.m., and a preconcert chat with conductor Ulrich Windfuhr begins at 6:30 p.m.
As a part of the MasterWorks Concert Series, which sheds sonic and stage lights upon legendary composers and their seminal works, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra turns its instruments toward Mendelssohn. Italian opens with a joyous first movement that bounds swiftly along with the wide-eyed wonder and optimism of exploring new lands and believing them filled with candy trees. Also drawing its inspiration from Mendelssohn’s time in Italy, the second movement carries the pensive dignity of a religious procession the composer witnessed in the streets. The third and fourth movements introduce french horns and end the piece with notes from two dances, the saltarello and tarantella.
But before the intermission, the evening opens with Rossini’s overture to The Silken Ladder, a piece whose flighty woodwind refrains reflect the tone of the comedic opera. Two pieces by Ottorino Respighi fill out the concert’s midsection, beginning with Trittico Botticelliano, which aurally illustrates three of Botticelli’s paintings: La Primavera, The Birth of Venus, and The Adoration of the Magi. Gli uccelli—The Birds—then opens with a regal flare before taking flight into tweeting movements inspired by the songs and cell-phone ringers of doves, hens, nightingales, and cuckoos.