LexPhil impresses with mix of old, new worlds
The Lexington Philharmonic and guest conductor Chelsea Tipton II were harbingers of spring with the recent Baroque Meets Brazil concert, bringing Bach and Handel in alignment with Villa-Lobos and Ginastera.
The programming of such seemingly opposing musical pairs who existed in different hemispheres and composed at least two centuries apart screamed bipolar. But the evening's music turned out to be more equatorial than any concertgoer might have imagined.
Beginning with Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, a warm spirit-lifting breeze filled the hall as various instruments from the ensemble sonorously, almost ritually, danced about the stage. A lovely reintroduction to a seldom-heard piece. Then things heated up a bit more with Handel's "Music for the Royal Fireworks" as the instruments marched almost ceremoniously toward intermission.
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In the second half, guest soloist Adrienne Danrich and an orchestra of eight cellos coaxed the audience south of the equator with Villa-Lobos' Bachinanas Brasilleras No. 5. Danrich soothingly vocalized and hummed her way through Aria, ending on a most heavenly note. She then sprang into the Dansa, with the Bach-like counterpoint and paritia style of these pieces clearly intact.
Then, Ginastera's Variaciones Concertantes kept the Baroque harmonics alive in a vibrant contemporary fashion not that far removed from Handel's Fireworks.
LexPhil asks us the Words worth question, "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" One is born of the other. And so it is with the music of the spheres. It's all about the audience making connections.
Bring more symphonies
What's going on with the Lexington Philharmonic? The March 22 concert was chamber music, as several others have been this year. I hope this is not becoming a trend, because for decades subscribers have watched the Philharmonic grow and develop into an orchestra capable of playing large symphonic pieces. Let's hear them again.
Canopy tour exhilarating
A recent weekend, my family experienced the newly installed canopy tour at Boone Creek. To say that the experience was incredible would be an understatement.
My 10-year old son, a friend of his and I participated in the guided small group of seven. After thorough instruction and a practice zip, the adventure began on a wooden stand under the canopy of trees. We were all a bit nervous but the guides quickly turned our attentions to important matters of the deciduous forest.
The guides talked about what makes a healthy forest and about invasive species. You might say that this learning could take place on a hike, but I have never witnessed such zeal and raw excitement in these boys as they flew through the forest "like birds" they analogized.
The exhilarating nature of the zip lines satisfied the inner child in all of us and we were left speechless after the final zip across the Palisades.
There are so few opportunities for young people to really learn about nature and actually experience wilderness nowadays. In a world of AAU basketball, indoor soccer, homework and video games, our kids can go a whole summer without even seeing a lightning bug.
I implore the city of Lexington to reconsider permitting expanded access to this area, as Sarah and Burgess Carey are not just educated outdoor enthusiasts but are parents and amazing stewards of the environment who can help teach our children how to help our Kentucky forests thrive.
Kelli Greer Webb, M.D.
Man, I sure am glad we have this global warming thing going on, otherwise we would have all frozen to death this spring.
P. Lee Greer Jr.
No need to change
Two points to make:
1. The Catholic Church always was, is and always will be — withstanding or not withstanding the ilk of theologian Margaret Ralph ("Catholic concepts in a secular world: Theologian's new book studies how church could change," April 6).
2. Calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.
Reasons to worry
In response to the letter, "North Korea has nothing to back up its idle threats:" I would suggest — with over 28,000 U.S. service members stationed mere miles from a 27-year-old mad man who possesses both nuclear weapons and a stated willingness to use them — that minimizing and ignoring the North would not be in our best interests.
Per the director general of the IAEA, Mohamed El-Baradei, North Korea has become a "fully fledged nuclear power." CIA documents further this assertion, as do the three confirmed nuclear tests that the North has successfully completed —- seeming proof that the North does possess nuclear capabilities.
While the military superiority of the United States versus that of North Korea is beyond question, it is my firm belief that this is something we must pay heed to and deal with forthwith, not actions merely chalked up as saber rattling by a tin-pot dictator.
North Korea is exceedingly poor, something that could make it that much more desperate as an enemy. Proactive measures need to be taken now, not after something terrible befalls us or our allies in the South.
McConnell watches out for us
Kentucky is lucky to have Sen. Mitch McConnell. He has reached such heights in Washington that it gives Kentucky stature and clout. He was able to contact Vice President Joe Biden and together they avoided the fiscal cliff.
Last month, McConnell requested more compromise in Washington. That's right on. President Barack Obama has made us so divided that nothing can get done. If McConnell often says "no" it's because that's his job as a conservative. If he's not given choices that he can agree with, the only thing to say is "no." And we all know that Obama is not about to compromise. It's his way or the highway.
Every day I read this newspaper, I find some sort of letter or editorial on an anti-gun push.
I'm not an English major, nor a lawyer, but there's only one amendment that has the phrase "shall not be infringed." What part of "shall not be infringed" is difficult to understand?