Symphony to open with Beethoven

Israeli-American cellist Inbal Segev will be the featured soloist during the San Juan Symphony’s rendition of Friedrich Gulda’s 1980 Concerto for Cello and Wind Instruments on Saturday night at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of ME Reps/Christina Jensen PR

Israeli-American cellist Inbal Segev will be the featured soloist during the San Juan Symphony’s rendition of Friedrich Gulda’s 1980 Concerto for Cello and Wind Instruments on Saturday night at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

Arthur Post can be forgiven for a spot of hubris. After all, it’s not bragging if you can back it up.

“It’s already an unforgettable season – I really pulled out all the stops,” the Musical Director of the San Juan Symphony said at the outset of his “Musically Speaking” concert preview Wednesday evening at Toh-Atin Gallery.

The 2012-13 season will begin Saturday night at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College with “Rock ’n’ Roll in Vienna,” a title that itself hints at some different and fun things to come this year. The first program contains just two works of about 35 minutes each with absolutely no down time.

Up first is Friedrich Gulda’s 1980 composition Concerto for Cello and Wind Instruments, followed after intermission by Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, which turned 200 years old earlier this year.

“You can call it his best – along with his fifth, third and ninth,” Post quipped. “But the Seventh is special for me because it’s just incredibly positive.”

In stark contrast to the recognizable Seventh, Gulda’s Concerto will likely be heard for the first time by Saturday’s crowd. It’s a hodgepodge of sounds, beginning with an almost funk-like riff that’s reminiscent of a 1970’s cop show and segueing into much more pastoral sounds evoking the Viennese countryside. And the final movement sounds like an Oktoberfest oompa band.

Israeli-American cellist Inbal Segev will be the featured soloist. She and Post were classmates at Yale University in the 1990s and she last played in Durango in 2008.

The opening program will set the stage for the season’s theme of “Lollapalooza,” which also will feature “Dread, Redemption, Nirvana,” “Back to the Future” and “Bach and Beatlemania” in the coming months.

“The boldness of the masterpieces from long ago are matched to go with these contemporary works,” Post said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

ted@durangoherald.com