The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra sets aside the first Friday of each month to provide a shortened concert that is played without intermission. Its part of the ASO's effort to attract a new audience and it seems to be working, although the house is not well sold.
This months First Friday concert featured the above works, minus Debussy's Jeux. Music Director Robert Spano led the ASO.
AMC is quite partial to Ravel's Pavane, which was mostly beautifully played. The violins were particularly fine. However, the critically important introduction by the French horns was cringe inducing. It was out of tune in the open rehearsal and also in the actual performance. It marred an otherwise wonderful performance.
The Jonathan Leshnoff Flute concerto was presented with Jeffrey Khaner, principal flute of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Khaner is technically brilliant and has a wonderful full tone. AMC suggests reading Ken Melzer's program notes for the music here: http://www.atlantasymphony.org/ConcertsAndTickets/Calendar/2013-2014/Friday-Khaner-Debut.aspx
The concerto is pleasant enough- it isn't strident or grating. But upon first listening, it wasn't particularly compelling either. AMC heard the piece twice and at either time, didn't walk away saying, "Wow." Maybe it requires repeated listening.
The final work was Mozart's Symphony No. 31. The ASO performed it with great skill. Since AMC is averse to Mozart, no further comment will be made.
Thanks to all of the musicians, benefactors, patrons, and volunteers who made this concert possible.