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Romance, spring in air for symphony

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Too bad the Judson Erne Auditorium chairs aren’t equipped with footrests. Because violinist Philip Palermo promises a relaxing experience for those attending the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s Sunday performance, “An Intimate Gathering.”

The concertmaster, also a staple with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, will play Ludwig Von Beethoven’s “Violin Romance No. 2” — the first piece he ever performed with an orchestra, the Evanston Symphony, at age 15.

“It’s a beautiful melody,” he said. “Very pastoral. Very soothing. Very lyrical.”

If spring is in the air, then a little romance makes for nice accompaniment, as far as concert organizers figure.

Violinist Laura Andrews sees the weekend presentation as a collection of “lush, wonderful, romantic arrangements” under the direction of conductor Henry Cheng. Andrews said it’s an additional bonus to have someone of Palermo’s stature with the ensemble, a group he has assisted off and on for more than 15 years.

Patrick Vogt, a French horn player and the symphony’s board president, is looking forward to helping perform Richard Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll,” a work the composer wrote while he and his wife endured a difficult period in which they faced financial struggles and other adversities. It originally was intended only for them, but the composer eventually sold it to boost their finances.

“This song originally was just intended to give them hope and to depict and capture the beauty all around them amid their situation,” Vogt said.

The musician believes the work can do the same for Sunday’s listeners.

“It’s very frail and fragile at the beginning,” Vogt said. “But then other instruments are added, layer upon layer. Within a minute or two, you’re hearing soaring melody lines.”

And experiencing soaring hope, as Vogt sees it.

The orchestra also will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and Richard Strauss’ “Serenade for Winds.”

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