Symphony explores different sides of love

Love. The one subject that the majority of songs both young and old tend to be written about. It seems almost impossible to find a musical selection that is not inspired by love in one way or the other.

However, songs that tell of the evils and downsides of love are not found as often.

Sunday, Jan. 14, musicians from the Toledo Symphony will provide the public with a mixture of both songs about the good sides of love, as well as songs portraying the negative aspects.

This chamber performance, sponsored by the Toledo Blade, is titled “Of Love and Other Demons”. The performance will be held at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Club, the venue where the popular Chamber Series takes place on Sunday evenings.

The term “chamber performance” is defined as music that can be performed by a small group – enough that can fit into a standard-sized room or chamber. Chamber music is primarily executed by musical groups known as “quartets,” “sextets,” “duets,” etc.

The concert is derived from a novel by author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature, of the same name – “Of Love and Other Demons.” The choice of the pieces were inspired by the novel, but the pieces themselves were not since the music was composed before the book was ever written.

The subject of love is being performed for the audience while aiming at embracing the subject from uncommon viewpoints. Some of these views include the unpredictable nature that love can be characterized as in “Cage Amores.” Love is looked at as an urban lullaby in “Villa-Lobos Choros No. 4,” and the “Piazzolla Tango” presents love as a seductive dance.

Some interesting background can be found in a selection by composer Brahms in which the musical selection is dedicated to the man’s fiancé, Agathe van Siebold. Letters from Siebold’s name are musically translated into patterns and notes that can be found in some of the string melodies.

Merwin Siu is the principal second violin player as well as the artistic administrator for the performance.

He really enjoys playing in chamber performances versus fully orchestrated symphony performances. One of the main reasons for that is due to how the audience reacts.

“The audience can actually go up and talk to you,” he said. “We usually address the audience and the audience can come talk to us during intermission or after the concert, which makes a big difference. It’s a lot more intimate and a lot more direct.”

As for why the public should attend this performance, Siu claims that it will be a rare opportunity. “It’s a really amazing program of music,” he said.

Tickets are $25 and $35 and can be purchased by calling (419) 246-8000, or by visiting