Concert Artists of
The familiar work was Mendelssohn's "
He paid great attention to subtle details, especially the woodwind voices, and he ensured that the most atmospheric elements in the score came through vividly (slicing string attacks in the finale evoked a brisk highland breeze). The Adagio, the symphony's eloquent heart, was nobly phrased.
The orchestra sounded cohesive and spirited. As usual, the theater's wonderful acoustics enriched the tone considerably.
As for the less familiar fare, that came from
Benjamin's 1935 "Romantic Fantasy" for violin, viola and orchestra may not be the most coherrent work in the repertoire, but it is filled with attractive, soaring melodies that give the two solo instruments a great workout. The orchestral side of things is richly colored.
Polochick also led the orchestra in two delicious, light pieces by Benjamin, including "Jamaican Rumba," which brought the composer great popularity in the late-1930s.
On Sunday afternoon, the
The program opened with the B minor String Symphony (No. 10) by a teen-aged Mendelssohn, who already knew how to spin songful melodic lines masterfully. Conductor
The Holberg Suite, Grieg's salute to Norwegian-born literary figure
Tchaikovsky's "Souvenir de Florence," originally for string sextet, makes an easy transition to string orchestra. It's so effective in the larger form that I wish it were programmed far more often that way, providing a nice substitute for the ubiquitous Serenade for Strings.
Thakar had the score spinning along beautifully, allowing room for tender phrases to breathe and putting extra drive into the spirited passages (the finale flew by in a delicious whirl). There may have been a frayed note here or there, but the ensemble gave an impressive performance, tapping into the music's poetry and passion with equal flair. Violin, viola and cello solos in the Adagio emerged were tenderly delivered.
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