|Barbara Albin with Sacred Subway|
The concert (which was, after all, the reason we were all there) was fabulous. I have to admit to being a bit distracted during Profokiev's Romeo and Juliet, which was performed during the first half. I was just so keyed up about the event finally coming to fruition that I found it hard to focus. The music was gorgeous, though, and I loved Maestro Ponti's opening remarks about "art begetting art."
Then it was time for the main event -- Pictures at an Exhibition. It was truly thrilling to listen to the music while envisioning the related works of art (both those by Hartmann and those by the VAC artists). I made a few notes about each movement as I was listening, and I thought I'd share them.
Second Movement: Ode to a Troubadour -- This movement was romantic and had a Middle Eastern feel at times. The classical saxophone (also featured in Romeo and Juliet) was wonderful.
|Beverly Yankwitt's |
Saturday at the Park
Fourth Movement: Polish Ox Cart -- This movement was incredibly powerful with the imagery in my mind of an ox cart bearing its heavy load as it moves through town. The snare drums add a military presence of the government overlooking everything that goes on, with the drums gaining strength as the oxen reach the middle of town and diminishing as they carry on.
Fifth Movement: Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks -- The audience loved this movement, and laughed as the music called to mind little chicks dancing. The contrast to the darkness of the Fourth Movement was quite striking.
Sixth Movement: Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle -- I could vividly see the conversation between the two old Jewish men -- one rich and one a beggar -- while simultaneously envisioning Brenda's wonderful Conversation of Passion featuring the sandhill cranes. Stuart Kitts, concertmaster, was wonderful throughout the concert, but almost levitated during this movement. He is a joy to watch perform.
|Thalia St. Lewis'|
Market at Limoges
Eighth Movement: Catacombs -- The music in this movement was dark, and there was a distinct feeling of sadness in the somewhat dissonant horns. As the music faded, I imagined a person moving on to the next world.
Tenth Movement: Bogatyr Gates -- With a crash of cymbals and lots of wonderful tuba (an oft underappreciated instrument), I could literally hear the fireworks triumphantly exploding in the sky.
Throughout the evening, Maestro Ponti's conducting was the most expressive I've seen all season. He--and the orchestra--clearly loved performing this repertoire. And the audience responded in kind. It was truly a special evening, and the beginning of a beautiful relationship between the VAC and the CSO.