Symphony Review: Home Is a Place for Stirring Music


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The world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed with the Spokane Symphony Saturday night in Washington state, and the program wasn't exactly a straightforward classical work.

Rather, it was "a work of art," in the words of the New York Times.

The program, titled "A Place Called Home," featured pieces by American composers Bedrich Smetana, Aaron Copland, and Antonin Dvorak, as well as one by Chickasaw composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha, whose "Chokfi: Sarcasm for String Orchestra" is "a musical representation of a wily trickster important in the culture of indigenous peoples of the American southeast," per a review in the Spokesman-Review.

The Times notes that the program was the brainchild of music director James Lowe, who wanted to create a work of art "that was itself a work of art."

Among the pieces on the program: Smetana's "The Moldau," Copland's "Old American Songs Bk 1," and Dvorak's Symphony No.

9 in E minor, "From the New World."

The latter "brings to life the traits he wished to represent as essentially American: Quick wit, touching sentiment, naive humor, and an enthusiastic openness to life,"

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