Thu., Feb. 23, 7 p.m., Fri., Feb. 24, 8 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 25, 8 p.m. 2012
The Nashville Symphony’s concert this weekend is titled “Mozart & Copland” for obvious reasons, but the third work on the program might serve as an appropriate caption as well. Dancers, Dreamers And Presidents, by the genre-crossing Daniel Bernard Roumain (aka DBR), was the 2010 commission from the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium, and the Nashville Symphony was one of nine participating orchestras. The three-movement orchestral work’s jazzy, driving energy got its inspiration from an episode of the Ellen DeGeneres television show in 2007 in which she invited her guest, then-Senator Barack Obama, to dance with her. “Watching Obama and DeGeneres dance might not save or change our world,” DBR said, “but it certainly says many things about where we were, who we are, and how we will all get there.” Guest conductor Kelly Corcoran explores “where we were” along with pianist Angela Hewitt in the following work, Mozart’s Concerto for Piano No. 20 in D minor, K. 466. In describing the concerto’s gorgeous slow movement, writers have used adjectives like “limpid,” “gossamer” and “poetic.” “Spine-tingling” has always been my choice. The concert ends on a theme of heroic Americana with Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3. Listeners will recognize the beginning of the final movement as a stirring variation on the composer’s Fanfare for the Common Man.