Photo courtesy of Jolie Ann Photography
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ProMusica show features wealth of talent
MARC BUCKHOUT ~ MANAGING EDITOR ~ 3/9/2011

“It’s incredibly detailed, both on the large and small scale,” Karen Taylor said. “The music is 200 years old, but listening to it reminds me of sitting and listening to a thunder storm. The large part is the thunder all encompassing and on the small scale you’ve got the rain drops coming down the windows and the ants coming out of their holes.”
Taylor’s analogy is about performing in Beethoven’s Fantasy, ProMusica’s upcoming show, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. on March 18 and March 19 at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center.
The show includes numbers by Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert.
Taylor, a North Phoenix resident, has been an accompanist on the piano for ProMusica for the last four seasons and says she’s really appreciative of the group she gets to work with.
“Most of the preparation is working on your own,” she said. “I’m putting in six hours a day at the piano by myself. When you get put it all together it’s an amazing feeling. I’m working with the choir weekly for two hours. They are wonderful. We have a bunch of really talented people, and there aren’t any divas. They’re salt of the earth people. We get to have fun with our friends, but we’re working too, to put together a great performance. I’m the luckiest person in the world.”
Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy showcases not only the chorale, but Taylor in a concerto- like opening that bursts with song and lyrics of Spring’s optimism.
In addition to solo performances on the piano from Taylor the show also will be highlighted by soprano Megan Weston from New York who will be performing the solo in Mirjam’s Siegesgesang.
Schubert’s Mirjam’s Siegesgesang is the uplifting Old Testament song of victory that Miriam sang celebrating the Hebrew’s successful freedom from Egyptian rule.
Overall Taylor said the show carries a positive mood throughout.
“It’s filled with a great idealistic theme of love and joy,” she said. “The first five pages of the show are a series of loosely arranged themes that are largely improvisation. In the second third of the show the orchestra and I go back and forth trading off and then in the final third we have a chorale arrangement of three men and three women performing with the orchestra.”
The show also includes a piece dedicated to the victims of the Tucson shootings. Titled “Things that Never Die” with words by Charles Dickens and music by Lee Dengler the lyrics remind listeners of the beautiful things in life that stir feeling of love and truth and striving to be better. An anonymous donor purchased the piece for PMAZ and made the dedication to the victims in Tucson.
Taylor said the show has a memorable finish.
“It’s gigantic,” she said. “You have the chorale, the orchestra, the symphony. All told it’s approximately 200 people. It’s fantastic to be a part of such a large group of talent. Everybody is doing a wonderful job together. It’s going to be a stirring, electric atmosphere.”
For information or to purchase tickets go to promusicaaz.org or call 623-465-4650. Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center is located at 33606 N. 60th St. in Scottsdale.