06. December 2010 · Comments Off on The Weekend’s Concerts · Categories: Reviews

I so enjoyed our guest conductor (every conductor is a guest at Symphony SIlicon Valley, by the way!), Giampaolo Bisanti. He was great to work with, and I’d love to see him return. Everyone I talked to in the orchestra agreed. I’m not sure, though, that he’ll be available to us in the future; he is on the rise … ah well … we can all say we worked with him at least this one time!

Saturday night’s concert went quite well, and Sunday’s even better. Yours truly made one little error in the Schubert on opening night that ruined her evening, of course. Some people noticed, some didn’t. But of course most (but even there not all) colleagues noticed, and one even commented the next day right before our second concert which sort of threw me a bit. Ah well. We all do our best, yes? It’s not as if we try to have brain freezes. Mostly my part was quite insignificant and this was a stress free week for me; I needed that!

The Merc review is out and it’s quite favorable. Here are just a few quotes that make me happy, due to colleagues getting well deserved mentions:

As guest conductor Giampaolo Bisanti took his bows Saturday night at the California Theatre, applause surged through the house — and through the ranks of Symphony Silicon Valley. Nearly all the orchestra’s members clapped and stamped their feet in appreciation of Bisanti, and its principal trumpeter, James F. Dooley, pointing at the conductor, shouted, “You the man!”

Gee … did Jim really do that?! Fun! (Jim sits behind me so I can’t see what he’s doing, but I do know he loved Bisanti.)

Bisanti led a performance of radiance and charm, and the key was soloist Meredith Brown, the orchestra’s principal horn.
Her tone was haunting, with round plummy low notes and assured upper notes — a good thing, as Mozart demands nimbleness across a wide range in his opening movement. In the stately second movement, she and the orchestra phrased the themes with comfort, as Brown again climbed from basement to tower.

he concert’s second half began with Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” Overture, which had good thrumming energy in the strings and delicate wind work from bassoonist Deborah Kramer and clarinetist Michael Corner.

The players were with him from the outset, though the unity of the performance became doubly clear in the second movement, with its glowing strings — and Corner yet again playing a lilting solo and bringing the Allegretto to a whispered finish. The third movement, a minuet, included a deliciously lacy duet between bassoonist Kramer and principal oboe Pamela Hakl, amid ripe strings.

So woo hoo to all of my colleagues, and especially to Pam, Debbie and Mike … they really did sound fantastic!

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