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KSO Concert Will Be Out of This World

Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s April concert will be out of this world – or as close as you can get with your feet firmly planted on the ground as the KSO tours the solar system with NASA images and Dean Regas, outreach astronomer at Cincinnati Observatory as tour guide.

Centerpiece of the April 11 concert at Florence Baptist Church at Mt. Zion in Florence will be Gustav Holst’s 50-minute suite of tone poems The Planets.

The Planets depict seven of the eight planets - “We visit Earth after intermission,” promises Symphony Music Director James Cassidy – and will be performed in a different order than traditional. “Starting closest to the sun with Mercury and moving out to Neptune.”

Newer NASA images will accompany the orchestra’s performance with about 250 photos/videos showing aspects of each planet and its moons.

“Dean will come out on stage a couple times to break up some of the music and point out what to watch for during the next movement, while I may jump in and add a tidbit about Holst’s music,” Cassidy previewed.

“It will be a laid back, but an informative concert video presentation.”

During intermission and post-concert observatory staff will be on hand outside with telescopes so that audience member may view both Venus and Jupiter in the night sky (cloudless sky conditions permitting.)

Karel Husa’s "Apotheosis of This Earth" follows intermission. “It’s a moving, 25-minute, three movement work from 1970-71,” Cassidy says. “A fitting Earth Day (April 22) tribute.” Images will again accompany the orchestra.

Originally written for concert band and transcribed by the composer for orchestra and chorus, “the work takes its cue from a divisive time, encompassing the height of the Cold War, Vietnam conflict, rampant air and water pollution, earthquakes, and climate change (global cooling), when all were serious concerns,” Cassidy explains.

“At the time, it appeared that everything was spiraling out of control. Given that backdrop, Husa’s piece represents three phases of the Earth: First “Apotheosis” or the planet’s perfect form (before man), where the listener is taken on a voyage from outside the solar system to earth.” Images will accompany the music.

In the second movement, “Tragedy of Destruction,” man’s inhumanity and recklessness is captured, Armageddon is unleashed and the planet is mortally wounded and dies.

The “Postlude” is an epilogue in which the pulverized planet is fragmented and human memories drift though time and space.

The KSO Chorale joined by Glenville State College Chamber Singers from West Virginia, Teresa Dody, director and the newly reconstituted choir from Thomas More College, Rebecca Wells, director, will be featured in “Postlude,” speaking in disjointed, echoed syllables, which later come together in a solo voice to whisper - “This beautiful Earth” before the piece fades into the ether.

The Planets, 8:00 p.m. April 11. Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. Florence Baptist Church at Mt. Zion, 642 Mt Zion Rd, Florence. Tickets are $19, $27 and $35. 18 and under half-price. Fees $1.50 per ticket plus credit card merchant fee., 859-431-6216 and at the door.

- Story by Jackie Demaline, RCN contributor/Photo: KSO (provided)

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