VSO concert: mambo!


2009-mar21-vsoVSO conducted by Jaime Laredo


Albert Brouwer, flute

Nancy Dimock, oboe

Mark Emery, trumpet


Leonard Bernstein: Overture to Candide

Henry Cowell: Hymn and Fuguing Tune No. 3

Richard Danielpour: Rocking the Cradle

Samuel Barber: Capricorn Concerto

Bernstein: West Side Story Symphonic Dances

Candide glittered (and yes, it was gay too), the Barber beamed a rare ray of WW II-era sunshine, the Danielpour stormed and solemnly ruminated (1st and 2nd movements, respectively), and the Cowell – well, you need to ask someone who gets that piece better than I do. Might have been fine, I just couldn’t tell you. I always feel like I need ‘night vision’ headphones or something to cut through the thick murky fugue of the string parts, enough to hear what’s really happening in there melodically.

The Vermont Symphony Orchestra offered quite a fine night of music tonight. The program was varied and well paced, and the ensemble was polished with notable moments of flair and inspiration, particularly with the balance of the flute/oboe/trumpet solo trio against the rest of the group in Barber’s Capricorn Concerto. (And I decided tonight after hearing the orchestra’s swinging, spirited Westside Story dances that “mambo!” is hereby the new “bravo!”)

This was the fourth of the five Masterworks concerts during this 75th anniversary year, with the entire season being a celebration of “Music of Our Time”: every concert’s repertoire focuses on works written since 1935.

Artistic Director and conductor Jaime Laredo, in a personal and heartfelt introduction to Danielpour’s “Rocking the Cradle”, promised the audience a return to the more standard subscription series offerings of Brahms and Beethoven next year. The announcement prompted a few pointedly hearty claps. He furthered the thought with the hope that this season’s concerts have been enjoyable, though all contemporary and somewhat offbeat (my paraphrase). With this, the Flynn resounded with an enthusiastic cheer and loud round of applause. Who says concertgoers don’t want to ‘be subjected to’ contemporary music? Not this crowd!

Next (and final) Masterworks concert is Saturday, May 2nd. See you there.

I’ll be the one standing up to send out a loud ‘mambo!’ at the end.

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