Saturday, September 7, 2013

BlueWater Chamber Orchestra: From Cleveland For Cleveland

Rossini: Overture to La Scala Di Seta (Silken Ladder)*
Haydn: Symphony No. 104 in D, "London"^
Barber: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14* (Diana Cohen, violin)
*-Carlton R. Woods, conductor. ^-Neil Mueller, conductor
At the Breen Center for the Performing Arts, St. Ignatius High School.

This week has been particularly long and stressful--Rachel and my attempt at dog adoption was not the success that we had hoped for, and I was somewhat relishing the thought of a quiet weekend before driving back to Michigan tomorrow -- for the fourth time in two weeks.

Late in the week were invited to attend this evening's concert -- and as fans of Ms. Cohen and intrigued by both BlueWater and the Breen Center -- both new to us, we couldn't say no.

For the venue, the Breen Center is comfortable and intimate without being cramped -- the auditorium is not huge but there is plenty of room. Acoustically, it seems to be very nice.

As a Chamber Orchestra, BlueWater is likewise a bit more compact than a traditional orchestra but produced a robust beautifully cohesive sound that filled the room and preserved nuances.

Rossini's Overture set the tone for the evening as  restrained, crisp and balanced with an emphasis on strings but very well blended.

While named  "London", neither Rachel nor could say that any particular imagery or sense of place was evoked Haydn's Symphony No. 104. Thus, while the first three movements were enjoyable, without evoking particular imagery it's difficult to me to connect the music, and instead I found it a very relaxing background to my thoughts on the past week. The fourth movement (Finale: Spiritoso) featured a fun set of notes starting in the first violins and expanding to encompass the entire orchestra that just made the movement kind of catchy.

The third piece on the program, Barber's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra  was clearly the highlight of the program. The first two movements were a bit of lyrical beauty and Ms. Cohen and the orchestra were in total sync but I didn't really get the impression that either was particularly challenged until the third movement -- aptly titled presto in moto perpetuo -- a flurry of well-controlled notes at blazing speed.


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