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Bard College Presents Woodstock Chamber Orchestra Performing Program of Old Favorites and Colorful Rarities, October 15

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra (WCO), opens its 31st season in a program combining old favorites with colorful rarities. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major is the major work on the program, with Mozart’s Overture to “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” Debussy’s “Petite Suite,” and Vaughan Williams’ Overture to “The Wasps.” Presented in cooperation with The Bard Center, the performance is on Thursday, October 15 at 8 p.m. in Olin Hall. Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $5.00 for students. Subscription sets are available (4 tickets good for any concert). For tickets and more information call (845) 246-7045 or visit the website (This program is repeated at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 17 at Pointe of Praise Family Life Center, 243 Hurley Avenue, Kingston, and 3 p.m. Sunday, October 18 at Bearsville Theater, Route 212, 1 mile west of Woodstock.)

 David Leighton, WCO artistic director, will conduct. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 is highly reminiscent of his predecessors Haydn and Mozart, who perfected the symphonic form, yet in it we already see traces of the path he would follow that would lead away from classical models into the dramatic realm of romanticism. Nevertheless, this symphony shows Beethoven in a happy mode, written at a time of his life before he encountered many of the tragedies, including deafness, which formed the foil for his later heroic style. The other works on the program could be grouped under the heading “exoticism”, or even humor, such as we hear in Mozart’s use of a Turkish percussion band, Debussy’s impressions of a boat ride, followed by a quasi-renaissance procession and minuet, but topped off with a can-can, or Vaughn-Williams’ evocation of the buzzing of wasps (i.e. lawyers, as Aristophanes makes clear in the play).


The WOODSTOCK CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, conducted by Artistic Director David Leighton, formed in 1980 by musicians from the Woodstock area, now is comprised of professional musicians from the entire Hudson Valley. The WCO regularly commissions music by local and regional composers and each season performs in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, and at Bard College.


For tickets and further information, call 845-246-7045 or visit


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This event was last updated on 10-02-2009