Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Anything but terminal...

The ATL Symphony Musicians (the group composed of, well maybe, former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians) played a widely successful concert last evening at Terminal West, which a venue usually hosting rock groups.  The concert lasted nearly three hours with two intermissions.  It was truly standing room only and the crowd was absolutely ecstatic.  No matter what happens with the ASO, management should pay attention to this very successful venture.

The program was opened by the Brass Quintet of the ATL Symphony Musicians. They opened with Duka's "La Peri," a fanfare that set of this concert in fine fashion.  There was so much wonderful stuff in this set and special attention must be placed on the playing of Nathan Zgonce on trombone. His intonation and dynamics were incredible.  The highlight was an orchestral transcription of the ragtime piano piece "That's a plenty."

The next set was played by the Franklin Pond String Quartet, with English Horn soloist Emily Brebach.  She is one of the hugely talented players in the woodwind section of the orchestra.  Jun-Ching Lin narrated this section with a graceful sense of humor.

Next came the orchestra.  It was chamber music sized and it sounded just as one would expect- nearly perfect.  In spite of playing in a venue not designed for a symphony orchestra, AMC never heard the cellos and bass sound better.  Pieces included a transcription of Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# Minor, and Holst's "Saint Paul Suite."  In the former, the the strings sounded powerful and appropriately dark.  In the latter, the percussion was handled deftly, led by Tom Sherwood.  AMC has never heard this piece played in such a way as to highlight the Gaelic-nature of the piece.  The real crowd pleaser of the set was Bach's concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor BWV 1060.  The soloists were concertmaster David Coucheron and oboist  Elizabeth Koch Tiscione.  Both are elite players and they matched each other in dynamics and interpretation.  Both can generate a big sound without strain or mistake.  they also seemed to enjoy their musical dual.  This performance was so good that it should be recorded and issues on CD.  It was near perfection.  This set ended with an arrangement of an Albinoni piece that was sort of a Pop/New Agey thing,  and it was a fine way to end the evening.  The conductor for this event was Mary Hoffman, normally a choral conductor but she seemed to have a great relationship with the ATL musicians.

So here they are- the great players of the locked-out Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  How absurd and shortsighted the management of the Woodruff Arts Center and the ASO are.  They will attempt to nickle and dime the musicians in order to break the union and reduce the quality of the orchestra, protesting the whole time that this is not what they want.  AMC is sure that the ASO management "went to school" on the Minnesota lock out last year.  Only they forgot to read the last chapter of that sorry book.  So where could a reconstituted Symphony Orchestra for Atlanta play?

By the way, the ever-busy Domenic Salerni joined the orchestra to show his support.

A special thanks to that special person composer-bassist Michael Kurth, who helped spearhead this fine concert.  This soft-spoken talented artist is also a fine leader.

Please make a donation to help the musicians at: http://www.atlsmfoundation.org/.  Also watch related activities here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Our-Symphony-Atlanta/763900620340800  and here: https://www.facebook.com/ATLSymphonyMusicians

1 comment:

  1. Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music. It is the greatest treasure in the world.