Posted by lenglaser
Even though I had to struggle through the Wrath of Thor, deity of thunder and lightning, from my car, to reach the comfort and succor of the Van Wezel, I was soon delightfully rewarded at Saturday night’s concert.
Guest conductor, Carl St. Clair, teamed up with his California compatriot, stellar pianist, Jon Nakamatsu, to open a program totally embodying the essence of the Three “S” adjectives used in the headline above.Maestro St. Clair was right at home on our podium. Hope we will have some future appearances by him in guest roles. Jon held the audience spellbound at the keyboard as he magnificently rendered an enchantingly beautiful Saint-Saens piano concerto.
As I have written before, having not been trained as a youth in music appreciation, I come to each Sarasota Orchestra, whether they be classical or pop in programming, hoping to make up for my earlier missed opportunities. For example, until last night, when I heard that it was going to be a Strauss concert, I thought, “Well, this is going to be one that means… "STRAUSS = WALTZES"… How wrong I was, his Ein Heldenleben painted a musical landscape of 19th Century Europe, but not in 3/4 time! In my head, the music incorporated, for me, an ongoing tale of regal pompous courts, legions of troops marching off to war, battles, romances and a denouement motif. As our 120 musicians filled the stage from wall-to-wall, and the concert hall with powerful or soothing music, I closed my eyes and visualized opposing armies marching off to fight a Franco-Prussian war or lovers returning to the serenity of their bucolic homes
This vivid musical composition was further superbly highlighted by the violin virtuosity of our brilliant concertmaster, Dan Jordan. His many solo interludes wowed the audience and we are so fortunate to have him sitting in our “right seat.” And for those who generously contributed beyond the price of a ticket, these folks were treated to a post-concert dessert repast of delicious snacks and great information. They, and you too, can be a participant in these fests at future concerts…watch your programs, newspapers, internet blogs, or contact the orchestra’s box office to learn of their schedules. You’ll enjoy participating.
Here in the cozy confines of Holley Hall, our generous and loyal supporters had the opportunity to meet and chat with many of the musicians. They, unlike many “Big City” orchestras, are never aloof and love to speak with those who have come to hear them play.
We also had brief, but informative talks by the conductor and soloist relating to their backgrounds. And, last but not least, a magnificent and gratuitous “Thank you” oration by our charming and witty Board of Directors Chairwoman, Anne Folsom Smith. She explained so very gently and persuasively that the orchestra has reached its high performance stature because of the audience’s generous and enthusiastic support. After hearing “Lady Anne” speak, if she had then ”passed the hat or the collection plate,” a plethora of donations would have surely followed…Thanks Anne for all that you and our CEO Joe McKenna do, andhave done, for us.
I hope that this concert may have whetted the appetites of those who were new attendees.
So won’t you sign up and be part of "A-Nu Season of Music"? It will further please you with the arrival of our celebrated new Music Director, Anu Tali, who, upon her return from Europe, will join us shortly. There surely will be a scarcity of seats at her concerts…so don’t miss out. Thanks for your support, Suncoasters.