Madison Symphony Orchestra; John DeMain, Conductor | Live from the Oscar Mayer Theatre: Highlights from a Decade of DeMain

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Classical: Orchestral Classical: Symphony Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Live from the Oscar Mayer Theatre: Highlights from a Decade of DeMain

by Madison Symphony Orchestra; John DeMain, Conductor

On this first-ever CD of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, experience a soul-stirring sampler of some of the best live performances during a "Decade of DeMain."
Genre: Classical: Orchestral
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture
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8:57 album only
2. Mozart: Symphony No. 35, K.385, Haffner (I. Allegro con spirito)
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5:59 album only
3. Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major (I. Allegramente); Philippe Bia
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8:48 album only
4. Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 (III. Adagio)
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11:40 album only
5. Verdi: Messa di Requiem (IV. Sanctus); Madison Symphony Chorus
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2:47 album only
6. Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 (IV. Andante-Allegro)
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13:48 album only
7. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Pathetique (II. Allegro con grazia)
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7:38 album only
8. Schickele: Thurber's Dogs (III. He Goes With His Owner Into Bars
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5:22 album only
9. Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra (V. Finale: Presto)
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9:39 album only


Album Notes
Bring home the big, sumptuous sound of the MSO on its first-ever CD recording of great performances under the baton of Music Director John DeMain. Entitled, "Live From the Oscar Mayer Theatre: Highlights From a Decade of DeMain," this long-awaited CD on the ION label features concert highlights from DeMain's celebrated tenure on the MSO podium. The CD is a tribute, not only to DeMain and the MSO, but also to the historic Oscar Mayer Theatre that has been the MSO's home for 23 years. The 2003-2004 season marks DeMain's 10th season with the MSO, and is the MSO's final season in the Oscar Mayer before moving into the spectacular Overture Hall in Autumn 2004. (For more on Overture Hall, visit:

"We've nurtured our orchestra and our audiences in the Oscar Mayer Theatre with many memorable performances. Our first CD recalls some of the brightest moments in music Madison has ever experienced," says Maestro DeMain. "And here is further proof that Madison has an orchestra which is justifiably the pride of the community."

From Ravel to Rachmaninoff, Schickele to Shostakovich, Maestro DeMain selected a memorable performances that define the "MSO experience." These performances also reflect a variety of styles, tempos, periods and composers. Throughout the CD, you'll also have an opportunity to hear fantastic solo playing from several of MSO principal players. (For Maestro DeMain's thoughts on his selections, see "DEMAIN TALKS ABOUT THE CD" below.)

These selections were compiled from live performances, recorded for broadcast by Wisconsin Public Radio. What you'll hear is the orchestra's natural and umprompted emotion, and what you'll experience is your spontaneous reaction to these great performances. We hope that it creates the feeling of "being there."

Share with others some of the joy and exhilaration of MSO concerts--consider purchasing multiple copies for friends and family. CDs are $15 each, and there are several ways to buy them:

- On, of course!
- At the MSO Patron Courtesy Table at MSO concerts
- Watch for it at local (Madison, WI) record stores
- Call the MSO office at 608.257.3734 to charge-by-phone
- Stop in to the MSO office at 6314 Odana Rd., Madison (9 AM-5 PM Monday through Friday)

Maestro DeMain took a break from his busy globe-trotting conducting career to provide his thoughts on his selections for this CD. The rest of this article is presented in DeMain's own words...

"Huddling from the cold this summer in Adelaide, Australia (where it was winter) in between conducting performances of the new opera "Dead Man Walking," I had the wonderful respite of listening to a decade's worth of performances of the Madison Symphony Orchestra to determine the best selections for our first-ever CD recording.

"I had so much wonderful material to choose from--so many great moments--that I could have easily selected enough music for two or more CDs! I knew for certain that I wanted you to experience...

* The virtuosity of your orchestra--demonstrated by the thrilling allegros of Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture.

* A performance featuring a fantastic soloist. You'll experience French pianist Philippe Bianconi's tireless command of the keyboard on the first movement of Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major.

* The excellence of the Madison Symphony Chorus, illustrated to a supreme degree on one of my favorite performances of all time, the Verdi Requiem.

* A majestic work from the classical period, represented by a movement from Mozart's "Haffner" Symphony.

* The balance and contrast of a contemporary work. The playful, jazzy third movement of Thurber's Dogs by Peter Shickele, one of my former Juilliard professors, is a prime
example of the orchestra's range.

* A milestone performance by the MSO, and one of our audience's most beloved performances of all time, represented on this recording by the last movement of
Shostakovich's 10th Symphony.

* A demonstration of the passion, beauty and love that the Madison Symphony Orchestra brings to each concert. With its
achingly beautiful melody, there was no better example of this than the slow movement of Rachmaninoff's
Second Symphony. The orchestra's playing was so lovely that listening to it again brought me to tears.

* A performance in which the orchestra and I took some risks. In the final movement of the Concerto for Orchestra by Bartok, I pushed the players to an extremely fast tempo,
and they were more than up to the challenge. And the result is an exhilarating performance of which the players--and myself--are extremely proud.

* A wonderfully romantic performance, represented by the second movement of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony. This piece shows off the orchestra's wonderful lyrical quality.


to write a review

Jon Krueger

A Wonderful cd From A Favorite College Town
John DeMain and the Madison Symphony are clearly a wonderful team. The performances on this disc are enjoyable and will stand up to repeated listening.