The Virginia Symphony assays ‘Nocturnes, Overtures & Cannons’

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That’s right; “cannon” with three “n”s – as in “cannonballs,” not Pachelbel’s musical round. Enthusiastic Associate Conductor Benjamin Rous led the well-oiled orchestra through European and American music that featured martial airs in each half of the program at the First Flight High School Sunday afternoon. The final concert of the Outer Banks Forum’s 30th season began with the Europeans, including Franz von Suppé’s Overture to Light Cavalry and “music that strikes fear into the hearts of bachelors,” Mendelssohn’s Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (not martial, especially, but marital music – difference?) and Brahms’ Hungarian Dances No. 4 and 1. Post-intermission the audience heard the Americans: John Williams’ The Cowboys Overture, Morton Gould’s American Symphonette No. 2 and his arrangement of the African-American spiritual “Deep River.” Martial music after the break was Jay Unger’s beautiful 1982 “Ashokan Farewell,” used in Ken Burns’ The Civil War television series and Peter Wilhousky’s version of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (or “John Brown’s Body” if you will). Keep your eye on for news of next season.