Punta Gorda Symphony ushers in new year with Schubert and Shostakovich

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The Punta Gorda Symphony ushers in the new year with two great symphonies at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8 at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center.
Franz Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony is considered one of his masterpieces, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 is often ranked #1 of his 15 symphonies. Maestro Raffaele Livio Ponti and the Punta Gorda Symphony Orchestra will bring out the best in both pieces.
The evening begins with Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B minor “Unfinished,” which has only two completed movements. Schubert was described by Franz Liszt as “the most poetic of composers,” and this symphony is a treasure of glorious melodies and harmonic surprises. Strikingly fresh and dramatic, the symphony is full of life and warmth, with a hint of darkness to bring complexity to the whole.
The second and final piece of the program, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, at first blush appears to be a contradiction. Although written at the height of the Stalinist purges of 1937, when millions of Soviet citizens were forcibly relocated, exiled, or killed, the Symphony displays lyricism and a heroic tone. However, many can hear a subtext of despair in the early movements, building to a conclusion indicating triumph over hopelessness. Moving from dark to light, Symphony No. 5 is complex, exciting, and ultimately cathartic.
The Charlotte Performing Arts Center is located at 701 Carmalita St., Punta Gorda.
Tickets are $35 – $65 adult and $15 youth / student. Tickets are available online at www.PGSymphony.org/performances, or by calling the office at 941-205-5996.

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