A cold Monday evening finds about 50 people on the stage of the Music School of Delaware rehearsing for the Wilmington Community Orchestra performance this Sunday, February 7.
Tim Schwarz, conductor, starts the rehearsal right on time and the dancing lilt of the Bach Orchestral Suite in D Major starts to warm the hall. The three trumpets and two oboes give the smaller orchestra a festive sound.
Then chairs shift as the other members join the group for the Beethoven Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Opus 21. The strings take the challenge of the exposed writing – the seconds opened the Andante cantabile and the firsts start the final movement at a very soft dynamic of challenging scale work which the other sections jump in and imitate in the Allegro molto e vivace. Schwarz illustrates a few points by borrowing concertmaster Larry Hamermesh’s violin and the string players nod. It is a luxury to have a conductor able to demonstrate the sound he wants.
But Schwarz provides a more dramatic demonstration as he plays his own violin while Sam Fuhrman does the cover conducting for the Brahms Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra. Fuhrman does a fine job leading the orchestra which will be conducted by Dr. Richard Prior of Emery University in Atlanta for the Sunday performance. Lawrence Stomberg plays the cello solo part with the strongest and most resonant sounds I have ever heard in person and Schwarz has plenty of power to match that force on the violin.
The Brahms is still running through my head.