Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Hilbert Circle Theatre; Jan. 15
Wide-ranging music across centuries and nationalities depicting figures and incidents "larger than life" energized a delighted audience on a very cold evening. The better-known classical figures grew from Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, Gounod and Wagner. The 75th anniversary of Superman in Action Comics was recognized with John Williams' "Superman March" from the film Superman
and Michael Daughterty's "Oh Lois!" from his "Metropolis Symphony," which he began composing in 1983 for Superman's 50th anniversary. Daugherty's tempo is "faster than a speeding bullet" and he uses "flexatone and whip to provide a lively polyrhythmic counterpoint that suggests a cartoon history of mishaps, screams, dialogue, crashes and disasters, all in rapid motion." ?Even more challenging for the orchestra was Anatoly Liadov's "Baba-Yaga, Op. 56," which bears a striking resemblance to Paul Dukas' better-known and similarly eerie "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." At the outset, the audience was invited to text message our encore choice. Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" won over Bizet's "Torreadora," underscoring Grieg's iconic status in popular culture. This oh-my-gosh, two-and-a-half-minute piece describes Peer Gynt's attempts to escape the King and his Trolls in Ibsen's drama.