Monday, October 8, 2018

A Musical "Thank You" from Music School's All-Star Orchestra

By Christine Facciolo
Select member of The Music School of Delaware faculty with a little help from Rossini, Bach and Mozart, opened the school’s 2018-19 season on Wednesday, October 3, with a concert thanking donors and fans for their support.

The Music School's string chamber orchestra featured faculty and guest artists.
This short but very sweet program opened with Rossini’s String Sonata No. 3 in C major. Rossini wrote the six string sonatas at the age of 12, in the space of three days in 1804 at the home of a wealthy grain merchant. Years later, the composer confessed he didn’t think they would have amounted to anything but wrapping for salami when in fact they had already proven to be perennially popular.

Granted these sunny compositions are the “light music” of their time, but there’s no mistaking the talent that produced them. Like its siblings, this is a delightful work played here by a group that clearly enjoyed it. Brief solo passages were ably executed by violinists Amos Fayette, Lingchin Liao, cellist Jennifer Stomberg and guest bassist Arthur Marks.

J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor delivered a more serious tone. Though the original manuscript to this concerto was lost, a reconstruction was possible because in 1736 Bach had arranged it as the Concerto for Two Harpsichords and Orchestra (BWV 1060), a work whose score had survived and served as a model for the original.

Soloists Christof Richter (violin) and Meredith Hite Estevez (oboe) captured the rhythmic vibrancy and catchy themes of the first movement and by contrast, the dreamy serenity of the Adagio second movement. The sense of energetic playfulness returned for the finale, as the soloists engage in essential contrapuntal commentary and other colorful writing.

Mozart’s perennially popular Eine Kleine Nachtmusic provided a pleasant post-intermission palette-cleanser to the Bach. The superbly disciplined ensemble served up as fine a performance as one could wish for with a mixture of legato, springing exuberance and elegant phrasing that produced a most delightful result.

The concert ended the way it opened, with a Rossini string sonata 
 this time, No. 2 in A major. It, too, exhibited the lightness and humor that would be evident in much of the composer’s mature work as well as his distinct gift for melody. There was something a bit more earnest and serious about No. 2 but still eminently enjoyable and beautifully played.

See www.musicschoolofdelaware.org. 

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