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The man with the baton: David Alan Miller.

PHOTO: Shannon DeCelle

A Musical Valentine for Adults


One wonders how they do it. David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony Orchestra are again, beginning tonight, playing three shows in three towns on consecutive nights.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, well, the theme of the program just fell into place. The ASO almost always has a new work to debut, and this time it’s a song cycle titled Love Songs.

“This is a set of love songs by Neil Rolnick,” Miller explained in a telephone interview, “who is of course a wonderful local figure.”

“We’ve had a long association with him; we pretty much started the Dogs of Desire together,” Miller said. “Since it’s Valentine’s Day, and our first concert is right on Valentine’s Day, we talked about doing a set of love songs.”

Rolnick collaborated with writer Larry Beinhart, who wrote the novel on which the film Wag the Dog was based. Rolnick asked him for some poems, Miller said, and Beinhart provided a set of five.

“Since we’re all getting older, (they) reflect a more mature bias. . . . It’s kind of a set of love poems for grown-ups.”

Miller said that the song cycle tracAes the trajectory of a romance from the beginning through death. The first song is called “Freedom,” and the last song is called “Lucky in Life.” The latter begins with this lyric: “We come in alone, and go out the same/If we’re lucky in life, love comes along.”

“The whole aesthetic of the piece is very pop. . . . They’re beautiful, lilting love songs.”

With an “acerbic” tilt, that is, not shying away from the difficulties of staying together and raising kids. Still, he added that “it’s very touching and beautiful”

And it’s first on the program.

This will be followed by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring pianist Orion Weiss. Miller loves the Mozart piano concertos: “For me they’re just the most romantic, extraordinary works . . . the pinnacle of quality.”

Finally, the ASO will perform Robert Schumann’s blissfully romantic “Spring” Symphony No. 1.

Asked about the complex logistics of putting on three symphony concerts in three towns in three days, Miller laughed. After the final rehearsal, “my part of the logistics is showing up,” Miller said.

—Shawn Stone

The Albany Symphony Orchestra will perform tonight (Thursday, Feb. 14) at 7:30 PM at the Canfield Casino (Congress Park, Saratoga Springs); tickets are $27. They will perform tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 15) at 8 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (2nd and State streets, Troy); tickets are $23-$46. Finally, they will perform Saturday (Feb. 16) at 7:30 PM at the Colonial Theatre (111 South St., Pittsfield, Mass.); tickets are $27. For info about Saratoga, call 465-4663. For info about Troy, call 273-0038. For info about Pittsfield, call (413) 997-4440.

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