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jerseyray
03 May 2009 @ 01:45 am
I saw Symphony in C again tonight, they were fantastic as always, maybe the best I have seen them yet.  In these times where we are all being more frugal, all you Philly classical music fans should check them out.  Let me count the reasons:
  • first rate musicians, all recent conservatory graduates
  • exiting music director, Rossen Milanov.  He gets the most out of this ensemble
  • very close to center city, just over the BF bridge, and free parking
  • yes, it is in Camden.  the parking lot and campus are well lit and monitored by armed guards.  It is very safe.
  • ticket prices are a real bargain
  • excellent music hall, a small college auditorium with no bad seats
  • Maestro Milanov has good taste in music!  he programs all the Eastern European and Russian music I love.
The real highlight for me was the Dvorak Piano Concerto, played by soloist Allesio Bax.  This sparkling concerto is often neglected because the piano part is considered not brilliant enough.  I think that the piano part is just fine (Bax sight read it from the score), and there is a lot of interaction between the piano, the strings, and the winds.  Here is a short clip of Rudolf Firkusny playing the ending of this concerto.  The first movement is like a mighty mountain, the second movement a pastoral dream, and the third a lively Czech folk dance.

They opened the show with Smetana's "Sarka" from Ma Vlast, which showed off the whole orchestra with some good heavy brass.  Nice to hear a Ma Vlast tone poem that is not The Moldau, for a change.

They closed the concert with Brahms' well known Symphony no. 2.  The strings' warm sound was especially highlighted in this performance.  The precision and energy with which they dished out the finale earned them many ovations.  Well done!

Our tickets were in the last row and everything sounded fine, loud and clear and well balanced.

In the lobby I ran into the principal cello for the orchestra, one Eric Coyne, who I last saw when we played together at Nicki Jaine's big
Art Museum show.  It was nice to see him again, chat about music a bit, and it was good to see he has advanced to the principal chair.

Here is another review from the Philadelphia Inquirer at Philly.com.