New World Symphony's Mini Concerts

This past November, Miami's New World Symphony held its first miniconcerts at the Lincoln Theatre, and the sold-out crowd almost couldn't believe its ears — or wallets. Works by Maurice Ravel, Aaron Copland, and Samuel Barber performed live, each for less than the price of a latte? Clearly our town's orchestral academy had lost its well-defined mind.

Well, it hadn't. But the minds behind NWS wanted to provide every member of our community an opportunity to hear some of the world's most beautiful music, no matter where they weighed on the economic scale. Now that the scale has basically tipped over and broken to pieces, there's an even greater need for a reasonably priced evening. So this Friday night, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas' merry band of musos will return to the scene of the deal of the season and do it all over again.

This time, we get works by Mozart, Handel, Bartok, and Brahms. And we get them all at their most Romantic. In order, there's Mozart's 1789 "Quintet for Clarinet and Strings" (which was used so touchingly in that last episode of M*A*S*H). Second comes a program that includes both Handel and Halverson's breathtaking "Passacaglia" (sometimes called "the impossible duet") and Bartok's three-piece "Contrasts" (originally commissioned by Benny Goodman). Finally comes Brahms' 1891 "Clarinet Quartet," which is about as sweepingly somber as romance gets). That's right: four pieces, three concerts, two-and-a-half bucks each. Hey, you can splurge and catch them all and still have spent only about the cost of a movie ticket. >

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