On Sunday afternoon I enjoyed the Brockton Symphony Orchestra’s Spring Concert at the West Junior High School. Felix Mendelssohn’s stately yet lovely “Overture to Beautiful Melusine” was followed by two compositions, each by Antonin Dvorak, but quite different from one another. The beautiful “Romance” featured concertmistress Kristina Nilsson on violin, playing a haunting, soulful evocation of a happy heart. I felt sorry for the musicians who had to concentrate on the “work” of creating this perfect mood, while I could just be transported by it’s simple melodies and rich variations. Dvorak’s “Czech Suite” in five movements was a showcase for the entire orchestra. Even the quiet “Praeludium” opening movement was complex and layered. Each movement was inspired by folk songs and dances. Though melodic, it requires attention to detail by musician and listener alike, and is worth it. The fifth movement, described as “Furiant,” was furious and wonderful. Maestro James Orent, Music Director, was clearly proud of all the performers. During the intermission a piano was brought onto the stage for Ludwig von Beethoven’s magnificent “Emperor Concerto” for piano and orchestra featuring Virginia Eskin on piano. The opening Allegro movement begins with the piano, with incredible interplay between soloist and orchestra, including long sections where the piano is almost forgotten, then emerges stronger still. Ms. Eskin, slender and elegant in a beautiful gown, was a powerhouse on the keyboard. The Adagio second movement features one of the most beautiful melodies ever written, then morphs into the third, Rondo with playful phrases amidst a painfully beautiful movement. Beethoven does it again, and so does the Brockton Symphony Orchestra. As the concert ended the audience erupted in a spontaneous standing ovation. I look forward to their next season.
October 11, 2009