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CLASSICAL MUSIC

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The other two pieces on the program, an Ave Verum Corpus setting by Imant Raminsh, and "Fem Latinska Motetter," a set of five Latin hymn texts by Michael Waldenby, were comfortably in the mainstream of contemporary church music, well constructed and, perhaps, more useful as music for the church than for the concert hall.

The soloists, soprano Jolene Baxter and mezzo-soprano Marjorie Bunday, handled their assignments beautifully.

-- Joan Reinthaler

Prince George's Philharmonic

Ahappy indication of the Washington area's proclivity for musicmaking is all the community orchestras doing good work in our midst.

One example is the Prince George's Philharmonic, which gave the final concert of its 40th-anniversary season Saturday night at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. While the orchestra's efforts under conductor Charles Ellis lacked professional polish, the concert showed the joy that can come when talented amateurs make music together.

The orchestra and pianist Mark Kennerly Clinton played their separate parts well for the most part in Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 but struggled to play together, entering late or veering apart into slightly variant phrasings.

The concerto's surpassingly serene Adagio inspired luminous, concentrated playing from all concerned; Ellis led the movement at an unusually fast tempo, but the music flowed easily without ever feeling hurried.

The orchestra played more consistently in the work that followed intermission, Elgar's "Enigma" Variations. Ellis's reading supplied the proper sweep and power, especially in the super-size tune of the famous "Nimrod" Variation. The hushed viola-clarinet duet of the "Romanza" Variation blossomed nicely in the hands of Howard van der Sluis and Evan Solomon, respectively, while the brass section came out with rip-roaring force for the emphatic finale.


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