REVIEW: Broken baton, errupting applause



Surprises snuck into The Butler Symphony Orchestra’s opening performance at the Schrott Center for the Arts. Between a broken baton and overwhelming applause, the performers and audience alike were surprised at parts of today’s performance.

The symphony started out on an energetic note with a dynamic performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Marche Slave Op. 31.” The piece was full of life and the orchestra seemed to be enjoying the rhythm of this tune.

The audience must have had the same opinion as the orchestra seemed to, because thunderous applause followed the first piece. Judging by the looks on the performers’ faces, they were not expecting such a response, but were pleased about it regardless.

The next piece that was performed was Haydn’s “Symphony No. 104 in D ‘London.’” The four movements of this piece varied, but they all had a melancholy feel to them. The symphony swayed and moved with the music as though feeling the tune deep within them.

The final piece outlasted the first two in length, lasting about 45 minutes; however, even with the extra length, the symphony still kept the audience entranced.

“A London Symphony: 1920 Version” by Ralph Vaughan Williams had four movements, all of which were filled with passion from both the performers and their conductor, Richard Clark. At one point, Clark’s passion because especially evident as he broke his baton, causing the audience to chuckle.

The third movement of this piece had much more brass than the previous pieces. Some portions included solos between the brass instruments, accompanied by the string backgrounds.

With these solos, the ensemble slowly began to speed up towards a more upbeat tempo and a more major key, something that was realized in the fourth and final movement.

The woodwinds in this final piece seemed to take the stage. They rose up and down as the piece came to a finale, and a rather unexpected one at that. The movement slowed down and ended with a violin solo, slowly fading into the auditorium.

The audience sat silently for a few moments as the final notes of the symphony continued to exist in the space there. After the music faded away, the audience rose in loud, well-deserved applause.