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Performers to bring French twist to classical Springfield concert

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s next concert will offer a French twist.

Guest husband and wife pianists Pascal and Ami Rogé will accompany the symphony during the NightLights II show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

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The concert gives Symphony conductor Peter Stafford Wilson a chance to put together a theme program.

“The music of the French school has always fascinated me with the impressionists and post-impressionists having particular resonance,” he said. “The influence both of jazz and eastern musical tonality creates an entirely unique, exotic sound that I find very compelling.”

The program will include Messiaen’s “Les Offrandes oubliees,” Poulenc’s “Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra” and Debussy’s “La mer.” Wilson said with the Christian calendar just having entered Lent, Messiaen’s piece is especially timely.

“This music stirs my heart and soul unlike any other,” Wilson said.

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The Rogés have toured the world.

The French-born Pascal has performed in most of the major concert halls and with the biggest orchestras, and considered one of the top interpreters of French music. Ami was born in Japan and attended the Julliard School and absorbed all aspects of French culture.

“The opportunity to visit with precious friends one meets along this journey is always special,” Wilson said of the Rogés. “For that reason, our Poulenc concerto will be a highlight of my musical season.”

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The Opening Notes program will be at 6:45 p.m. in the Turner Studio Theatre with Christopher Durrenberger, Wittenberg University, Department of Music Chair, while the Wright State University Trombone Ensemble will do the Performance Prelude in the Davidson Grand Lobby.

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