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ECSO takes on Tan Dun's Water Concerto

Published November 15. 2012 4:00AM
Above, ECSO percussionist Christopher Smith

As the shoreline recovers from Sandy's flooding, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra is offering a friendly reminder that water is the source of all ... music?

In the second concert of the season, ECSO Music Director Toshi Shimada starts this aquatic voyage on the banks of the Danube with Mozart's Symphony No. 38, the "Prague" symphony, and ends with Schumann's most popular symphony, his musical tribute to the Rhine, his Symphony No. 3, the "Rhenish."

In between comes something very different: Tan Dun's Water Concerto. Using bowls of water and a variety of devices to make it splash, drip and gurgle, ECSO percussionist Chris Smith will be in the center of it all.

The composer described his thinking in a 2007 interview:

"In Hunan, water was a daily thing with our life ... All the old women, they always went to river for laundry, making a beautiful sound, very rhythmic. So I transpose those memories of beautiful laundry sounds, and swimming sounds, body popping sounds, water dancing sounds, water teasing sounds, water popping sound, into my orchestrations."

This is one composition that needs to be seen to appreciated, and it has been performed by many of the world's leading orchestras. So bring your umbrella and enjoy.

- MILTON MOORE

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m. Saturday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $27-$60; (860) 443-2876, gardearts.org.

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