Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

Beethoven: Symphony No. 4; Dvorák: Symphony No. 7

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 4; Dvorák: Symphony No. 7 Review

by Mike D. Brownell

The Whatcom Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra based in the small community of Bellingham, WA. As per the liner notes, its members are community musicians ranging in age from 16 to 75. On this album, the orchestra offers performances of Beethoven's Fourth Symphony and Dvorák's Seventh Symphony. Are these recordings substitutes for those of the great, established symphonies of the world led by the interpretations of predominant conductors? Clearly not, but that does not at all seem to be the intent or purpose of this album. Rather, this CD showcases something that's often lost as hundreds if not thousands of recordings are examined and scrutinized for technical proficiency, artistic beauty, and lush sound quality. That is, music-making does not belong solely to the elite, but to everyone. As such, the Whatcom Symphony produces energetic and enthusiastic renditions of these two great symphonic works. Given the small size of the community, the ensemble is quite large and obviously contains some talented and committed musicians. While this recording is not suitable as a reference recording, it absolutely can serve as inspiration to the countless other community orchestras across the country who get together just for the sake of making music.

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