Fun in the sun
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director JoAnn Falletta, above, are turning up the heat down in Florida. The South Florida Classical Review, a site run by former Miami Critic music critic Lawrence A. Johnson, waxed rapturous over the BPO's concert in the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale.
The concert featured the Rachmaninoff Second Symphony, which the BPO played here right before it left town, and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, with BPO Concertmaster Michael Ludwig as soloist.
A few excerpts of the review that I liked:
"The orchestra’s rich, full string tone—sounding more Central European than American—is its greatest asset and Falletta exploits it to maximum effect."
"Although the concerto is an overplayed warhorse, Ludwig’s performance was anything but hackneyed. Former associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Ludwig has glistening tone and technique to burn."
About the Rachmaninoff: "A crisply articulated Allegro molto with plenty of brassy bite brought the orchestra’s strong horn section into the spotlight. In the Adagio, Falletta distilled heart-on-sleeve sentiment, giving the luminous strings full rein with John Fullam’s evocative clarinet solo also shining brightly."
The review closed with some criticism for the acoustics of the venue. It makes you think how spoiled we get with our world-class Kleinhans Music Hall.
The Philharmonic is playing tonight at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida, with pianist Fabio Bidini as soloist. The orchestra will be back in town this weekend, unwinding by playing a pops concert Saturday, "Three Broadway Divas."
-- Mary Kunz Goldman