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Philharmonic ends season with classics

Kevin Vigneau, the New Mexico Philharmonic’s principal oboist, will solo with the orchestra next Sunday.

Kevin Vigneau, the New Mexico Philharmonic’s principal oboist, will solo with the orchestra next Sunday.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Philharmonic is presenting two programs in two concerts at two venues next weekend.

The Saturday, April 5 program at the KiMo Theatre is the last this season in the orchestra’s Introduction to the Classics series. It spotlights Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D major.

“Brent Stevens will talk about it. We’ll play excerpts about what he’s explaining and then at the end we’ll play the symphony. At least that’s the plan,” said guest conductor Oriol Sans.


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Stevens, of KHFM-FM, is the concert host.

“Brahms only wrote four symphonies and all of them are loved by everybody. All four are actually masterpieces.”

But his second symphony – and particularly its adagio movement – is so beloved that even with other works on a concert program, audiences come to hear the Brahms, Sans said.

The Symphony No. 2 is the only work on the April 5 program.

The philharmonic’s April 6 concert at the National Hispanic Cultural Center features principal oboist Kevin Vigneau on two Baroque works – Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor and on Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto C major.

“The Baroque period was perhaps the peak of the oboe’s popularity as a solo instrument, with many hundreds of sonatas and concertos composed at that time,” Vigneau wrote in an email

“It was frequently paired with voices in opera and sacred music and this lyrical side of the oboe’s personality will be on display in the two concertos …”

The Vivaldi is one of about a dozen oboe concertos he composed. “The last movement is a theme and variations, each more virtuosic than the last,” Vigneau said.

The concert opens with Henry Purcell’s Chacony in G minor, which 20th-century composer Benjamin Britten adapted. Britten mostly added some dynamic indications to the score, but all the notes are Purcell’s, said Sans, who is the artistic director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s live webcast and also is conducting the April 6 concert.

On the second half of the program, the philharmonic will perform Schubert’s Symphony No. 5. With this symphony, Schubert wanted to look back in time, particularly to Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Sans said.

“We don’t know if Schubert actually listened to No. 40 or he knew it from before, but clearly there are some details that point to it, for example, the orchestration. There are no timpani and no trumpets, just as with No. 40,” he said.