Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CIM Orchestra: Kimbo Ishii-Eto, guest conductor

CIM Doesn't let their orchestra come out to play nearly as often as they should.

Saint-Saens: Bacchanale from Samson et Delila, Op. 47
Khachaturian: Concerto-Rhapsody for Violoncello and Orchestra*
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherzazde, Op. 35
Kimbo Ishii-Eto, conductor; *-Yuriy Leonovich, cello.
At Cleveland Institute of Music's Kulas Hall.

This is only the third time I've heard Saint-Saens works performed, yet something was immediately familiar when the orchestra struck up Bacchanale which was impressive in its energy and was probably my favorite piece on tonight's program; I just felt good listening to it. The Khachaturian piece didn't move me in the same way: The first two movements seemed overly long winded with the same, rather dull, motif bouncing from section to section to section to section to section. It also felt loose to me but having never heard the work before that may be an unfair judgement. The third (allegro animato) movement was notable for it's bursts of energy.

The last piece on the program, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, was quite enjoyable and shared hints of Middle Eastern flavor with the first piece. Particularly impressive was the cohesiveness of the explosive fourth movement (Festival at Baghdad - The Sea - The Shipwreck (The ship goes to pieces against a rock surmounted by a bronze warrior) -- and you'd nearly need to be deaf to miss the "Shipwreck" portion of that movement.

During Intermission I had to remind myself that the musicians on the stage are college students. Considering the huge number of concerts and recitals offered by The Cleveland Institute of Music throughout the year, The CIM Orchestra doesn't come out very often, but when they do it's certainly well worth listening.


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