Stamford Symphony Orchestra
12. Nov. 2005 – What's that? Bach and Sibelius less than a half hour from my house? I'd be a fool to miss such a thing! Conductor Eckart Preu brings humor and vigor to the Stamford Symphony Orchestra. Preu succeeds in taking the music to you, giving it meaning. His heartfelt and at times humorous introductions to the pieces performed added a vitality to the proceedings I never expected.
The afternoon started with Bach's Sinfonia In D Major, a Bach piece I was not familiar with, but full of interesting color and movement as well as fine harpsichord work by Preu. That was followed by a fascinating composition - the multi textural Battalia by Biber. Battalia was a challenging number even by today's standards. A very satisfying listen. Next up was the Connecticut premiere of Joan Tower's Made In America, a new piece based on the main melody of America The Beautiful. Tower's work was darker than anticipated, and almost a bit jazzy in sections.
The Israeli piano duo, Sivan Silver & Gil Garburg, wowed the audience with their inspiring playing on Poulenc's Concerto For Two Pianos In D Minor. 20 fingers of sheer fluidity and ridiculous prowess flowed effortlessly through Poulenc's gorgeous melodies, elevating the piece to heavenly heights.
After a brief intermission, Eckart Preu lead the 52 piece ensemble through Opus 52 of Sibelius' Symphony No. 3 In C Major. Soaring, elegant, with a sad, beautiful 2nd section, this was a strong choice to end the day's performance. But wait! Maestro Preu had a surprise up his sleeve! In honor of the recently deceased (and former Stamford Symphony Orchestra conductor) Skitch Henderson, the orchestra performed a Henderson favorite: a slice of Elgar's Enigma Variations. If there was a better way to conclude the day, I'm not aware of it!