The News-Times

Some   Concert Reviews
For The 2008 – 2009 Season

Past Reviews

Danbury Symphony Orchestra, Sunday, Nov. 2nd

Danbury Concert Chorus, Saturday Nov. 15th

Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet, Dec. 12, 13, & 14

Handel's Messiah, Friday Dec. 19th

Young People's Concert, Sunday Jan. 25th

DCO & DPSO, Sunday, Mar. 1st

Danbury Symphony Orchestra, Sunday Mar. 15th

Danbury Community Orchestra, Sunday, May 3th

Toward the Unknown Region, Saturday, May 9th

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Choral rarities performed in Danbury

By Gilbert Mott
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
05/20/2009

The Danbury Concert Chorus and Symphony Orchestra titled Saturday night's program at St. James Episcopal Church "Toward the Unknown Region," after Ralph Vaughan Williams' mystical Whitman setting, which led off. It was an apt name for the evening as a whole. The Vaughan Williams piece is not done all that frequently and the two other works on the program were real rarities.

The text of "Toward the Unknown Region," from "Leaves of Grass," speaks of the soul's journey away from the bounds of earth and life, toward the ineffable, and the joy when it gets there. Chorus music director Richard Price shaped the surging, welling lines expertly and got sensitive, rhythmically nuanced singing from his well-trained chorus. Vaughan Williams has a confident-sounding hymn tune emerge from the opening sections and the effect was powerful in this performance. The closing was strong and exciting.

William Grant Still was one of the first African-American classical composers to achieve prominence. He wrote "Wailing Woman" to a text by his wife, Verna Arvey, who was Jewish. A reaction to the Holocaust, it compares the sufferings of Jews and blacks and speaks of the common roots that should bind Christians and Jews.

It is a powerful piece, with soulful, sinuous woodwind lines that evoke traditional Jewish music and expressive writing for chorus and mezzo-soprano solo. Clarinet, bassoon, flute and other winds were in good form and the orchestra overall captured the drama of the setting. The chorus was sensitive to the text and to Price's shaping of phrases. The soloist, Cheryl Hill, sang attractively if a bit carefully, not always quite projecting the full force of the music.

Sergei Taneyev is a little-remembered Russian composer. A student of Tchaikovsky and teacher of Scriabin and Rachmaninoff, he was a leading academic figure whose compositions aren't performed much, especially outside Russia. Price introduced Taneyev's cantata, "John of Damascus," with snippets, talking about the composer's approach and illustrating it with excerpts. It was a good idea, well carried out, and made the full performance more intelligible and enjoyable.

The orchestra's opening chant setting took on a dark, Russian-sounding tone. The chorus sounded confident in its use of the Russian language and the many-layered fugal entrances were clearly set forth. The unaccompanied hymn that opens the second part had a rich, full, solid sound, giving way to powerful, dramatic shouts.

The Handelian fugue in the last section was clear and in control, only the most complex sections showing the difficulty of keeping it all together. Taneyev was clearly a master of intricately-detailed textures and powerful expressiveness. The orchestra's brass showed off particularly well in the many opportunities the composer gave them. The piece closes with the chorus, alone again, full of expressiveness and then dying out. It is a most effective gesture in a piece full of interest and excitement, here worthily performed.

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Danbury orchestra gives a wink and a nod to the movies

By Jan Stribula
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
05/07/2009

DANBURY -- Some movies import classical music for their soundtracks, while sometimes new film scores can have a life of their own. The Danbury Music Centre's director and conductor, Stephen Michael Smith, played with both sides of movie scores Sunday, leading the Danbury Community Orchestra in a memorable concert at Western Connecticut State University.

With all due respect to Gioaccino Rossini (1792 -- 1868), "The William Tell Overture" has become much more recognizable as the theme of "The Lone Ranger." Smith wasn't wearing a white hat or mask, but we all know who he is by now. With trumpets and horns giving a hardy fanfare, the strings leapt into action, playing with a deliberate sense of determination and relentless pursuit.

"Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner (1813 -- 1883) has popped up in several movies, but is most notable for me in "Apocalypse Now," flying helicopters into the heart of darkness. The brass section was explosive, especially the trombones, with woodwinds making a nice transition into the second theme. Stormy sounds filled Ives Concert Hall with all sections furiously flailing.

Smith enjoyed toying with the audience, claiming that the 1st movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's (1770 -- 1827) "Symphony No. 3 in E flat Major" was in an old Hitchcock film. (A copy of the Eroica Symphony was seen on Norman Bates' turntable in "Psycho.") With plenty of orchestral oomph and muscle, they built up for a glorious finale in one of the most electrifying works ever written.

The main theme from "The Fellowship of the Ring" composed by Howard Shore (b. 1946) was just the tip of the iceberg for the trials and tribulations of Frodo, from the epic cliff-hanging, page-turning trilogy written by J.R.R. Tolkien. The music had the feeling of the big screen, with some dramatic special effects from the percussionists.

Campy highlights from "Harry Potter," scored by John Williams (b. 1932), were full of surprises, with snare drum and triangle offsetting a mischievous tuba. Lush tear-jerking strings assured a happy ending.

The jolly group was rollicking for the score from "Pirates of the Caribbean" by Klaus Badelt (b. 1968), filmed off the rainy coast of Washington state. Bounding along the high seas, once again the brass delivered a wallop. Smith saluted all the graduating seniors, including principal cellist Ethan Zitzman, who's heading off to the Coast Guard Academy.

For a slick encore, they played a medley of James Bond tunes by one of my favorite film score composers, John Barry (b. 1933), and a little bit more swashbuckling music from "Pirates."

Without a doubt, music enhances movie viewing and continues to entertain long after the popcorn is gone. Film score fans should be sure to listen to Diana Blase on WMNR-FM 88.1 Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. and have their hearing tested in her weekly movie quiz.

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Tango contest spices up Danbury Symphony concert

By Jan Stribula
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
03/19/2009

DANBURY -- Midway through a tour of some south of the border music, music director and conductor Ariel Rudiakov and the Danbury Symphony Orchestra took a little detour for a tango-style dance contest last Sunday.

The Danbury Music Centre had decked out Ives Hall at Western Connecticut State University with sombreros, hot pepper and painted pony piņatas. There were even colorful flowers in straw baskets onstage for their presentation of "Music of the Americas."

The four young couples in the competition were dressed in formal tango attire, black, white, and red, as the DSO played "Blue Tango" by Connecticut composer Leroy Anderson (1908 - 1975). After the graceful contestants completed their head-turning routines, the judges determined that based on technique and charisma, Martin Badinelli and Nicole Cudzilo were the winners.

I didn't envy chief adjudicator Arthur Fredric and the other judges in their decision making process, as all of the dancers were impressive. Courageous and cute, contestants Bradley Badinelli and Isabelle Baker certainly had their choreography down pat. Aaron Mullen and Anna Gazsi used some fancy footwork for their fast moves, while Andrew Badinelli and Jessica Baker executed flamboyant dips and swirls.

Giving some historical context for the music, Rudiakov helped expand our world view while tying everything together. The program began with a trumpet fanfare and the infectious rhythms of the Southwest in "Sones de Mariachi" by Blas Galindo (1910 -- 1993). There were plenty of opportunities for solos, and many in the orchestra were dancing as they played.

Aaron Copland (1900 -- 1990) created a musical slide show of his travels in "El Salon Mexico," named after the kind of bar in Mexico City where you get frisked for weapons at the door. A panorama of shifting images kept rushing at you, as if galloping on horseback across the countryside.

Tipsy trumpeters created a whirlwind of lively folk tunes and musical souvenirs. Exploding percussion and brass braying like a burro added authenticity to the Latin American flavor, but the music also had Copland's unmistakable feeling to it.

Following intermission, they continued with more Caribbean dancing with the tango and rhumba movements from "Latin-American Suite" by Morton Gould (1913 -- 1996). Delicate pizzicato strings built into ebbing and flowing crescendos in the finely crafted tunes.

They concluded with some powerful pre-Columbian Aztec modes using primitive repetition in the symphonic poem "Sensemaya," a chant for the killing of a snake composed by Silvestre Revueltas (1899 -- 1940). Tuba and bass stirred up primal energy with drums and brass building into a fierce frenzy, reminding me of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring."

The DSO really got it all together, creating the breathtaking drama of a furious chase through the jungle. It may not have been a happy ending, but it was an incredible show stopper.

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Danbury orchestras present symphonic romance

By Jan Stribula
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
03/05/2009

DANBURY -- With winter hopefully winding down, a little romantic music is always welcome. Last Sunday the Danbury Music Centre presented a heartwarming concert featuring two orchestras that executive director Nancy Sudik feels represent the future of classical music. Talented artists throughout the area perform in the Danbury Community Orchestra (DCO) and the Danbury Preparatory String Orchestra (DPSO) primarily for their love of music.

Stephen Michael Smith, DCO music director and conductor, has a knack for selecting a substantial repertoire that broadens the orchestra's abilities, and makes for some good listening. They opened with a rather uplifting version of the weighty "Arrival of the Guests at Wartburg" from "Tannhauser," by Richard Wagner (1813 -- 1883). The trumpets gave a jolly good fanfare, leading the stately march into the hall.

Promising young violist Adele Zitzman developed lyrical expressiveness with some challenging arpeggios in the atmospheric "Romanze, Op. 85" by Max Bruch (1838 -- 1920).

Glen Lebetkin, DPSO music director and conductor, combined some serious material with lighter exercises, stand-up comedy, and happy birthday wishes to twin cellists Amber and Diamond Davis. As a warm-up ice breaker, the young orchestra held its own in "Little Fugue" by George F. Handel (1685 -- 1759).

Lebetkin mixed a few metaphors with magic wand humor and wedding music between a "Serenade and Dance" by W.A. Mozart (1756 -- 1791) and the familiar "Canon" by Johann Pachelbel (1653 -- 1706). He got some good feedback from "Bio Rhythms" by Richard Meyer, featuring fascinating body percussion, a little hand jive, and lots of fun.

The DPSO graphically captured images of big sky country in "Gathering Storms" from "American Serenade" by Robert Kerr. The young orchestra's efforts were paying off nicely in the adventurous "Agincourt" by Doug Spata, with its complicated cadence and rich sounding cellos.

Ives Hall at Western Connecticut was barely able to contain all the emotions generated when both orchestras combined for the "Overture to Romeo and Juliet" by Peter I. Tchaikovsky (1840 -- 1893). The music embodied the foreboding doom, anxiety, passion and yearning of the young lovers.

Before playing their final selection, the 1st movement from "Symphony No. 4, (Romantic)" by Anton Bruckner (1824 -- 1896), Smith read a letter from the composer, and had Sudik demonstrate the theme on her horn, greatly helping everyone's musical comprehension. The simple theme, eventually joined in by string, brass and wind sections, unfolded with all the pastoral imagery created by Bruckner. The DCO performed with a firm grasp of the music and imagery contained in this piece.

For a teaser of an encore, they played a snippet from their upcoming concert in May, music from the Disney movie "Pirates of the Caribbean." It should be a good show.

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This music's for the youth, by the youth

By Jan Stribula
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
01/29/2009

DANBURY -- Well over a hundred musicians converged on stage at Danbury High School last Sunday afternoon for "A Concert for Young People."

In the annual event presented by the Danbury Music Centre, in cooperation with Danbury public schools, the youthful musicians were poised for their performance and managed to get the butterflies in their stomachs to fly in formation. With years of practice already under their belts, some seemed just about ready for prime time.

Nick Albano, director of the Danbury High School Band, put together a powerhouse program for his students. The DHS Concert Band opened with a selection for brass and wind ensembles, written by some contemporary composers. The percussive assemblage was steadily building up in the short exercise "Gypsydance" by David Holsinger (b. 1945).

They continued with a brassy fanfare in "Canticum" by John Curnow (b. 1943), with the band slowing down for the beautifully majestic second theme. The broad sweeping "Black Forest Overture" by Michael Sweeny (b. 1952) demonstrated the tonality of the tympani, ending in a resounding climax.

As he returned to conduct the DHS Symphonic Band, Albano was given a foot-stomping greeting. He held tightly onto the reins for the hurly burly "Galop" by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 -- 1975). Many of the students were showcased in "Chant and Jubilo" by W. Francis McBeth (b. 1933), with its tight entrances and exits. Alto saxophones blended nicely with the band for the Coplandesque "Cajun Folk Songs," by Frank Ticheli (b. 1958).

After intermission, music director and conductor Ariel Rudiakov and the Danbury Symphony Orchestra continued with more music by the young and young at heart. Gifted flutist Eun Sun Cho sounded like a bird in flight for the first movement of "Flute Concerto in D Major, Op. 282" by Carl Reinecke (1824 -- 1910). Fluttering with finesse, she combined smooth elegance with attentive articulation in the romantic allegro molto moderato.

Rudiakov explained that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was only 13 when he composed his "Divertimento No. 3 in F Major, K. 138." While not exactly mature, Mozart was remarkably able to instill his own style into the piece, particularly evident in the presto. The DSO strings had a rich sound, and with the exception of the cellos, were all standing, as back in Mozart's day.

Rudiakov tapped into his Manchester, Vt., network for some fancy footwork from Devin Johnson. Wiry and nimble, Johnson was light on his feet in the bouncy "Tap Dance Concerto" by Morton Gould (1913 -- 1996).

Albano, Rudiakov, proud parents, and the rest of the audience enjoyed an opportunity to see all the talented rising stars on stage at Danbury High School. Who knows where they'll be seen in the future?

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'Messiah' continues long Christmas tradition

By Jan Stribula
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
12/25/2008

If it's Christmas it's time for Handel's "Messiah." Those who argue that, historically and textually, the great choral work is really more appropriate at Easter will probably never win, given its entrenched place at Yuletide. The Danbury Music Centre had to reschedule its performance because of snow and Monday night was bitter cold, but a large audience at St. Peter's Church turned out to celebrate the season.

The 100-voice Danbury Concert Chorus and Baroque Chamber Orchestra presented the Christmas portion of "Messiah" along with generous helpings from the rest of the large work, all conducted by the chorus' music director, Richard Price. It was the Danbury Music Centre's 51st annual "Messiah," a tradition that the community obviously has taken to heart.

Price led his well-trained chorus through brisk tempi and elicited a clean, articulate sound. As usual with community choral groups, the women far outnumbered the men, but he managed to balance the parts effectively. Dynamics ran the full gamut from loud to soft. The sound, helped by St. Peter's friendly acoustics, was rounded and full, if a bit faraway sounding.

A chorus like "For unto us a Child is born" showed off their strengths, like well-articulated language and florid passages that stayed on track. In "And with His Stripes," fugal lines were clearly set out and the sound was balanced and majestic. Late in the program, "Lift up your heads" still had energy and dynamic variety. Only the most challenging choruses like "His yoke is easy" had them struggling to keep up.

An able quartet of soloists took on the work's considerable solo demands. The tenor David Vanderwal produced tasteful ornaments and trills in "Comfort ye" and a long-breathed line and clear runs in "Every valley," and sang a vehement "Thou shalt break them." The bass James Courtney sang with power and a clear, ringing tone. Fast passagework in "Thus saith the Lord" and "But who may abide" tended toward stiffness, but "The people that walked in darkness" and "The trumpet shall sound" were sensitive and dramatic, some of the evening's highlights.

The mezzo-soprano Laura Vlasak Nolen sang with a rich, warm tone and gave "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion" an effective rhythmic kick. The soprano Laura Danehower Whyte stepped in when the original singer could not make the rescheduled date and performed admirably. The occasional coordination issues between Whyte and the orchestra were understandable, given her lack of rehearsal with them.

The small, sweet-toned string section balanced pleasingly with the winds, organ and harpsichord and the "Pastorale" interlude was sensitive and lilting. All the forces joined in an exciting "Hallelujah," with brilliant contributions from the first trumpet.

Price built up "Worthy is the Lamb," the final chorus, slowly and sensitively, to a big finish. It felt like Christmas, and the tradition was safe for another year.

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High-spirited 'Nutcracker' performed in Danbury

By Jan Stribula
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
12/18/2008

DANBURY -- For a couple of all too brief hours, regardless of age, attitude, or anything else, attending a live performance of the "Nutcracker Ballet" can turn anyone into a child again. Last weekend was the 42nd annual production of the extravaganza presented by the Danbury Music Centre, where as far as I can tell, everyone is young at heart.

The word has gotten out over the years, and thousands were in attendance at Danbury High School for the three nearly sold out performances. I attended Friday night, and the show was repeated on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

Behind the scenes, Artistic Director Arthur Fredric and his wife Co-Director/Choreographer Lisa Denton have put the Danbury Music Centre on a par and perhaps surpassing many professional productions. This is not a small-scale operation by any standard.

With elaborate sets, elegant costumes, and exuberant dancers, everyone was enthusiastic. But what really came across was the sense that all were having fun. After months of preparations and rehearsals, the cast of over 235 finally got to do the real thing, with more coordination going on backstage than the eye can see.

As Executive Director Nancy Sudik has pointed out, one of the reasons for the popularity of the DMC production is live music. Masterfully leading the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, Music Director and Conductor Ariel Rudiakov met the challenge of keeping the tempo and the dancers in synch. They played the complete score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840--1893) with several special instruments, the harp, celeste, and bass clarinet all adding up to an enriched listening experience.

The cast was a splendid combination of young and dare I say old. Jerry Walton returned as Uncle Drosselmeyer, and seemed pretty smooth with his magical bag of tricks and toys. All the mice were literally kicking up their heels and squealing with delight, preparing for battle with the toy soldiers. One brave little mouse was apparently wounded and scurried around on crutches remarkably well all night.

For the "Waltz of the Snowflakes" that ended Act I, Chorus Director Barbara Maisonpierre led the Snowflake Singers, with that ethereal sound only children's voices can produce. Snow Queen Mariel Vicente and the beautiful Snowflake dancers managed to stay on their toes through a stormy cloud of smoke and snow blowing all over the place.

Principal dancers Jackie D'Aquila as Clara, and Ryan F. Bulson as Drosselmeyer's Nephew and the Prince were graceful in their numbers together and seemed too have good chemistry working for them. Megan Schwartz as Sugar Plum Fairy was dazzling, and with her Cavalier Zach Thomas filled the stage with leaping and spinning.

Sporting a new bustier as Mother Courage, Mayor Mark Boughton really outdid himself, or should I say herself?? I'm not sure what to say. ... But those naughty little Ginger Clowns on skateboards stole the scene and Mother Courage's bonnet too.

Tchaikovsky's music certainly has the capability of standing on its own, but what a treat to have the added attraction of watching ballet dancers performing together so marvelously. As they all raced across the stage in the finale, it was hard to believe it was coming to an end so soon.

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Danbury Concert Chorus refines traditional music with bluegrass band

By Jan Stribula
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
11/20/2008

DANBURY-- There must be a reason why some music, no matter how you classify or categorize it, seems to stand up over the years, centuries in some cases. The simplest explanation I have is that it sounds good, always did and always will.

Harvesting a bumper crop of homespun and traditional tunes, Music Director and Conductor Richard Price and the Danbury Concert Chorus had an old-fashioned hoedown at St. James Episcopal Church last Saturday night. The Danbury Music Centre brought in a bluegrass band and soprano Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek to present something old, something new, with selections of folk songs, spirituals, and classics.

Price wasn't going out on a limb with his choice of material or the accomplished artists accompanying the chorus. Horner-Kwiatek is best known for her recordings with the vocal group Anonymous 4. Her powerful solo voice certainly sounded stronger than the groups' carefully blended harmonies and shape note songs.

The acoustic bluegrass band HOE could provide subdued accompaniments for the vocalists, or break into foot-stomping mountain music. The five members are Dick Neal playing banjo, Bob Csugie on upright bass, Stephen K. Miller on mandolin, Chris Teskey on guitar, and Larry Deming fiddling around. How often do you get to hear a bluegrass band back up a full chorale?

Maxim Vladimiroff covered the entire spectrum on piano, with a range of roles going from bare minimal to becoming a virtual orchestra in colors and tones. How often does Vladimiroff get to play with a jug band?

But it really wasn't all just a big hoedown. Price organized about 20 songs into a six-part program he called "Night Crossing," that encompassed a vast emotional landscape.

They began with a couple of songs from William Walker's tune book, "The Southern Harmony (1835)." As HOE joined the chorus in the happy sounds of "The Promised Land," I picked up on my own toe tapping, and quickly realized I was far from alone in that department. Horner-Kwiatek sang with amazing clarity, as the choir filled the tabernacle with its pure sounds. Going at breakneck speed, HOE hammered out "Dry County Breakdown" with fiddle, mandolin and banjo jumping on top of each other, while bass and guitar held them all together.

The rhythmic pattern of male voices sounded like ships rocking at sea in "To be sung on the water" by Samuel Barber (1910 -- 1981). With all due respect to the Frost family, Price led the chorus in some ethereal harmonies in "Sleep," composed by Eric Whitacre (b. 1970) to a poem written by Anthony Silvestri.

Horner-Kwiatek sang two worshipful songs by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) and then became a warrior princess as the sister of Moses in "Miriam's song of triumph." Forceful harmonies traveled back and forth as they told the triumphant tale of the Hebrews passage out of Egypt.

Deming and the chorus had some fun with the playful traditional Appalachian tune "Cluck Ol' Hen," and with the HOE band in the Irish song "Sons of Liberty."

Horner-Kwiatek gave a nice solo reinterpretation of the religious ballad "Wayfaring Stranger," featured by Anonymous 4 on their CD's "Gloryland" and "American Angels." She sang straightforward versions of "At the River" and the Shaker dance song "Simple Gifts" by Aaron Copland (1900 -- 1990).

The program ended with an overview of the life and work of blind poet Virginia Hamilton Adair, set to music in "An Hour to Dance" by Gwyneth Walker (b. 1947). The poetry and songs grew and faded in vitality, reflecting the quicksilver passages of life experiences.

The final song "Take My Hand" had the chorus magically converted into a railroad train, coming to a whistle stop at the end. Price and company took all the passengers lucky enough to be aboard on a good adventure.

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Danbury Symphony delights at Ives

By Jan Stribula
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
11/06/2008

DANBURY -- My favorite weekend every year is when the clocks get turned back an hour for daylight savings in the fall. Danbury Music Centre Music Director and Conductor Ariel Rudiakov put that extra hour to good use with an extended selection of classics and fairy tales last Sunday.

Going into their third season together, Rudiakov and the Danbury Symphony Orchestra are getting plenty of positive results from all their efforts. The fabulous music on the program made for a delightful afternoon at Ives Concert Hall at Western Connecticut State University.

Starting out with a musical sneeze, the fairy tale "Hary Janos Suite" by Zoltan Kodaly (1882 -- 1967) should be taken with a grain of salt, although pepper might be more appropriate. With tight control of tricky entrances and exits, the DSO got it right on the nose.

Some unusual instruments, including the dulcimer-like cembalom, added a Hungarian authenticity. The alto saxophone led the funeral march of the defeated Napoleon. Kodaly would not be complete without young voices. The Candlewood Children's Choir, led by Dan Coffman, was short and sweet. Percussionists were excellent throughout.

Soloist (and WMNR program announcer) Will Duchon brought the house down in a commanding presentation of "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18" by Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 -- 1947). The hushed audience allowed Duchon to begin with those heavy-hearted opening chords, as the string section joined in giving an affirmation to the restorative power of music. Traversing through some dark passages, brightness ultimately prevailed.

Duchon was deliberate in steering the steady development of the emotionally uplifting themes. Orchestral fireworks were set off as Duchon seemed to be hitting all 88 keys in rapid succession, while integrating well with every section of the DSO.

The final release in the third movement has a sweeping cinematic quality that always brings "Lawrence of Arabia" to mind. At the end of this exhibition of Rachmaninov, the audience exploded into enthusiastic applause.

After intermission, the DSO played another popular classic, "Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 (From the New World)" composed when Antonin Dvorak (1841 -- 1904) was living in America, but homesick for Prague. In selecting this immediately accessible piece, Rudiakov was appealing to listeners of all ages.

The opening movement has a lyrical sense of passage, as if on a transatlantic voyage, stormy at times. In the largo, the English horn and string section brought pathos to the traditional Southern spiritual tune "Going Home." Woodwinds added to warm brass crescendos. With clean entrances by all sections, the energetic scherzo packed a wallop. Thundering out of the new world, the symphony came to a tympanic finale.

In just a couple of seasons, Rudiakov and the DSO have already gone on numerous musical journeys, explorations and adventures together. I'm looking forward to wherever they take us down the road.

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Reviews from the 2002-2003 seasonReviews from the 2003-2004 season
Reviews from the 2004-2005 seasonReviews from the 2005-2006 season
Reviews from the 2006-2007 seasonReviews from the 2007-2008 season
Reviews from the 2008-2009 seasonReviews from the 2009-2010 season
Reviews from the 2010-2011 seasonReviews from the 2011-2012 season

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