Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pops Concert Reflects Seasonal Spirit

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pops Concert Reflects Seasonal Spirit

Article excerpt

THE ADVENT of winter weather Wednesday coincided nicely with the annual arrival of the St. Louis Symphony's Holiday Pops concert.

Decked with boughs of holly, Powell Hall again welcomed conductor Richard Hayman. The senior citizens comprising the bulk of the matinee audience greeted Hayman warmly. Many wore festive red and green clothing.

The violinists plucking their strings through the pizzicato sections of Leroy Anderson's "Song of the Bells," quickly established the spirit of the season. The song began softly and lightly, like the season's first snow, but gradually became heavier and more intense.

"It looks like the cold weather is starting to move in," Hayman observed, "and pretty soon that white fluffy stuff will start falling." His forecast finished, he pulled a harmonica out of his pocket and led the orchestra in a rendition of "Winter Wonderland."

No matter how often a person experiences the season, there is something refreshing and invigorating about winter air.

Hayman noted that Victor Herbert's "March of the Toys" remains fresh no matter how often one hears it. Trumpets provided the fanfare and the violins the marching music as visions of toys danced in the listener's heads.

The concert marked the world premiere of a composition by Steven Danenberg and Rosanne Soifel called "Chanukkah Suite."

This five-movement work began fairly nondescriptly, but the Symphony established a suitably lighthearted feel for the second movement, titled "The Dreidel."

The piece gained a stronger Jewish flavor as it progressed. However, as the title of the fifth movement ("Rock of Ages") suggested, the conclusion could have been mistaken for a Protestant hymn.

"This is the first time this has been heard anywhere," Hayman told the audience. "We hope it's not the last."

The crowd responded favorably to Danenberg and Soifel's creation. …

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