Regarding Rick Rogers' “Bringing the big top into the concert hall” (symphony review, May 7): The Philharmonic Pops Cirque de la Symphonie didn't conflict with me as it did with Rogers. I agree that the rendition of Copeland's “Fanfare for the Common Man” wasn't the best I've ever heard. I'm not a fan of this music; it resides down near the bottom of my list of 10,000 favorite orchestra pieces. Maybe this was the reason the orchestra didn't give it their best?
In any event, the balance of the program was done with the usual excellent sound quality produced by the orchestra. Bravo! I remember going to live circus performances as a child and there was always music — not the canned stuff that they use today, but a real band playing music that was tailored much of the time to the performers in the center ring. The music was nothing like the sound produced by a full symphony orchestra on stage, but it was great in its way. This performance brought back memories of those small circuses of the past. Many people in the audience must have remembered that as well. The applause, cheers and whistles for both the “Cirque” performers and the orchestra resounded throughout the hall, throughout the performance.
The integration of the orchestra into the circus performers' routines was done with dexterity and demonstrated a side of the orchestra not usually seen in other performances. The orchestra may have been behind the “Cirque” performers, but they were right up front when Douglas Dorste's baton hit the first beat! No need for glue to hold these art forms together, it just happens naturally. It was a great show.
David Hathaway, Oklahoma City