Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CIM Orchestra: Allen/Rozsa/Beethoven

Allen: Meridian (2009), world premiere
Rozsa: Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, Op. 37 (Tegen Davidege, viola)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) in E flat Major, Op. 55
Carl Topilow, conductor.
at Cleveland Institute of Music's Kulas Hall

As tonight's concert drew to a close I found myself desperately searching for something to not like. Short of a few notes that were overly "gritty" to my ear during the Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, and the woman carrying on a conversation through one of the quietest passages in Beethoven's symphony, there was really nothing left to be desired. The orchestra moved smoothly from bursts of controlled energy to sensitively managed quiet.

Both pieces in the first half of the program started with a dark and stormy overtone, but ended on a much brighter note. Allen's Meridian succeeds in capturing the uncertainty and fear-turned-optimism at closing one chapter and beginning another. Had the composer not been seated in the row in front of me I probably would not have guessed that this was the work of a student.

A composer who is probably best known for film composition, Rozsa's Concerto was absolutely captivating. Ms. Davidage generally played with fantastic clarity, and I think this piece has become my favorite for the viola. Even the adagio had a satisfying, well-tempered bust of energy, though I think the second movement of this piece was my favorite for the evening.

Beethoven's Eroica Symphony was an unexpected, pleasant surprise: It did not feel anywhere near it's 45 minute length and I was so lulled into relaxation that I do not remember a transition between movements. In contrast to its more modern counterparts earlier on the program, this piece starts bright and relatively cheerful and doesn't deviate far from that emotion throughout.


No comments:

Post a Comment