On Second Thought

Paula Robison Highlights Masterworks Concert!

By Henry C. Mayer

There was something distinctively different about the most recent Louisville Orchestra's Masterworks Concert. Associate Conductor Robert Franz introduced the local audience to their first performance of Kenneth Frazelle's "Blue Ridge Airs II," a challenging work that was first performed less than one year ago. Then as now, the distinguished flutist Paula Robison soloed in the performance. Frazelle tells us "above all, it is meant to evoke a place, [with] its shifting light and color and resounding views." It involves more than two dozen instruments and for probably the first time, two large Appalachian dulcimers. Maestro Franz, Miss Robison and Frazelle all have roots in the Appalachian section of North Carolina, which no doubt colored their interpretations.

Another first for the Masterworks Series was the thirty-minute suite from Copland's "Billy The Kid." A strong proponent of new music, Copland portrays the tragedy of this frontier character. whose brief career has also been presented by Louisville Ballet. Copland has also written other pieces inspired by The American experience.

The Concert's finale, Robert Schumann's "Third Symphony," is also a demanding work and deserves careful listening. Written not long before his untimely death, it tells us something of his genius and a happier time of his life. His wife Clara was a talented pianist and later, an inspiration for Johannes Brahms.