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14.9.11

World Doctors Orchestra: "With wings I will soar upwards"



See my review of the September 11 memorial concert by the World Doctor Orchestra:

World Doctors Orchestra (The Washingtonian, September 14):

available at Amazon
Mahler, Symphony No. 2, C. Schäfer, M. DeYoung, Vienna Philharmonic,
P. Boulez
The World Doctors Orchestra, composed of physicians who are all devoted amateur musicians from around the world, came together in Washington last week for the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. It was both a concert honoring those who lost their lives in the twin towers and a benefit for Whitman-Walker Health. A local glut of other memorial concerts for the September 11 anniversary, most of them free, was likely the cause of the unfortunately large number of empty seats in the hall, but the idea behind the WDO certainly ennobled the undertaking. No one with discerning ears would ever have mistaken the playing of the group for that of a professional orchestra, but perfection of sound was not ultimately the point. Amateur musicians gave their time and talent with the goal of honoring those who died and of raising money to support a local healthcare cause.

The program of music selected was too long, making for an overtaxing three-hour concert, enough to do my head in at the end of a day full of heavy remembrance in Washington. It would have been preferable, surely, to cut the opening work: Barber’s beautiful but cliché-ridden Adagio for Strings, and perhaps also the Mozart violin concerto (Number Five in A major), thrown in for good measure. The light-hearted nature of the Mozart undermined the weightier message of Mahler’s Second Symphony, which was waiting in the second half.
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This review is a Washingtonian exclusive.

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