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Published: Friday, 10/29/2004

Composers of north, south Europe featured in concert on Sunday

An eclectic program of music by 19th century nationalists and 20th century Italian film composers is offered Sunday afternoon when the Italian chamber ensemble I Solisti di Venezia performs at the Sandusky State Theatre.

Formed in 1981, I Solisti di Venezia is made up of 11 first chair players from major Italian orchestras as well as recent solo competition winners, all string players plus a pianist.

In performance, however, size is flexible, expanding and contracting to meet repertoire requirements ranging from sextets to works for small string orchestra.

Organization within the group is flexible and egalitarian. Members alternate as section leaders and soloists.

Featured in this concert are composers from Europe's north and south.

Though an ardent nationalist and considered by many to be Norway's greatest composer, Edvard Grieg spent most of his adult life in Copenhagen. There, in 1884, he celebrated the life of Danish writer Ludvig Holberg with works for chorus and piano.

The latter, to be performed on Sunday, was transcribed for string orchestra.

Also on the program and written just a couple years earlier is English composer Edward Elgar's charming and relatively early three-movement work "Serenade for Strings."

The program closes with arrangements excerpted from film scores.

Included is Nino Rota's music from La Dolce Vita and The Godfather.

The ensemble is currently on a nationwide tour that extends from New York to California.

The chamber orchestra I Solisti di Venezia performs music of Grieg, Elgar, and others at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Sandusky State Theatre. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students. Information: 419-626-1950 or 877-378-2150.


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