Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Great American Classics program at the Orpheum

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Modern enough to stimulate and tuneful enough to engage, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Great American Classics program—at the Orpheum from Saturday to Monday (May 10 to 12, with the Sunday show a matinee)—is more promising than its generic title would suggest. On the bill are George Gershwin’s erotic Cuban Overture, Aaron Copland’s exuberant Appalachian Spring, and Samuel Barber’s ageless Adagio, all reliable crowd-pleasers. And if that’s not enough, the show also features piano soloist Joyce Yang in a rare performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety”, a musical dramatization of the United States during the Eisenhower era, not to mention the closeted composer’s own inner conflicts. How can you argue with a lineup that spans everything from Jazz Age Havana to Mad Ave neurosis?

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