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To do a concert about anything but love in February seemed “absolutely silly,” says Folsom Symphony music director and conductor Michael Neumann. So he put together a program of heartfelt music called Love Is All You Need, taking place Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College.
Though the concert’s title may remind you of a certain similarly named Beatles tune, no songs by those lovable lads from Liverpool are on the program. Instead, audiences attending this strictly classical concert will hear Ravel’s Bolero and two featured arias: Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” and “E Lucevan le Stelle.” Local tenor Jaeho Lee will serve as soloist for these works. “He has such a wonderful and powerful voice,” enthuses Neumann.
Neumann is especially excited about showcasing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, also known as the Pastoral Symphony, at the concert. “I love the music of Beethoven, and this symphony would seem very fitting for a concert about love,” he says. “The Pastoral Symphony is all about nature. What’s not to love about nature?”
Also on the musical menu: Richard Strauss’ Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare and music for brass ensemble by Giovanni Gabrieli. “I would call this a very grand part of the program,” explains Neumann.
When he’s not conducting The Folsom Symphony—a post he’s held since its 2004 inception—Neumann says he finds great fulfillment working with the violinists, flutists and other young musicians as music director of the Sacramento Youth Symphony, which he’s done for more than 30 years.