Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra: Verdi, Chopin, Prokofiev, Mussgorsky

Verdi: Overture from Nabucco (Megan Clay Constantine, conductor)
Chopin: Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11 (John Smetona, piano)
Prokofiev: Concerto No. 1, Op. 10 (Yeun-Joung Park, piano)
Mussgorsky: A Night on Bald Mountain (Orch. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; Amber Dahlen, conductor)

Generally an evening of confident, high-energy music. I think the overture marks the first time I've heard Verdi performed live and it was an impressively dynamic piece, oscillating between slow and sensual and fast and bold.

Chopin's first concerto was a bit of an oddity compared to the rest of the program and while well played by both the orchestra and pianist John Smetona, I felt that the balance between orchestra and piano tilted a bit too far to the piano and generally the tempo of the piece was a bit too slow to overcome my general disfavor of piano concertos.

Prokofiev's concerto, on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise and I the balance between orchestra and pianist Yeun-Joung Park made for a more even presentation, and had a wonderful, confident and bold energy. A clear theme was echoed throughout the piece's first and third movements.

I could have sworn that the program was originally advertised as including Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, a personal favorite, though the present listing on CIM's website omits any reference to Mussorgsky, let alone Pictures. Night on Bald Mountain was a more than suitable piece to close out the program, and like Pictures, Night on Bald Mountain paints an elaborate landscape through music, and again was confidently played. I think Mussorgsky is working his way up my list of composers.



  1. I found you from 27 Dresses in CLeveland in the world do you find people to go to these events with? I won tickets to the opening night of Xanadu and I practically beg people to go with me! I think CLeveland does have a lot of people that are really into sports but not as much so the "artsy" type's definitely skewed.

  2. That sounded wicked creepy didn't it?

  3. Not creepy, just true... Though I am a little suprised that you'd have to beg for Xanadu, its not like it is Shakespeare or anything heavy.

    I've essentially given up on the prospect of finding someone to go with so most of the time I'm a single-ticket buyer (better for my budget, but not much else ;) )