Sweet music will fill Reeves Auditorium at Methodist College on Saturday, April 26, at 8 p.m., when the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra performs its season finale as part of the Dogwood Festival.
The concert marks the closure of the FSO’s 51st season and it ends with a flourish as the orchestra performs the works of two masters in a program entitled Beethoven and Stravinsky.
    Maestro Fouad Fakhouri — in his fourth year as conductor — and the FSO will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite.
Fakhouri says these are both pieces he’s been anxious to perform with the symphony since he first came to town. {mosimage}
    “The excellence of the musicians we have and their abilities are what allows us to now perform them,” said Fakhouri. “Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 is one of the truly monumental works in history. It is a group performance that will require ‘all hands on deck’ to pull it off.”
    Fakhouri wryly notes that Beethoven was an admirer of Napoleon Bonaparte and dedicated the composition to the tempestuous French general; however, when Napoleon declared himself emperor, Beethoven angrily removed all reference to the egotistical Frenchman and instead dedicated it to all heroes.
The other piece, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, doesn’t come with as amusing an anecdote as Beethoven’s work, but it makes up for it with its requirement of technical virtuosity.
    “Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite is interesting in that it has five instruments, all strings, soloing over the full orchestra,” said Fakhouri. “It is a work derived from the ballet.”
Fakhouri says the performance of two such difficult and stirring works of music is a fitting end to what he calls “a wonderful season.”
    “The musicians have gotten better and we have upgraded the orchestra since I came here four years ago, and the audiences have grown,” said Fakhouri. “I can’t say enough about our audiences. When I first came here, we had about 150 come to the shows, and now we have 700 to 800 at every performance.”
    Tickets range from $8 to $22 and can be purchased by phone at (910) 433-4690, online at www.fayettevillesymphony.org, or at the door the night of the event.

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