By Jim Lowe
Staff Writer - Published: November 20, 2012
RUTLAND — Sensual beauty marked Sunday’s concert at the Paramount Theatre that brought together top-notch New York instrumentalists with some of Vermont’s best — and the audience responded enthusiastically.
Louis Kosma conducted the 25-piece Capital City Concerts chamber orchestra in masterpieces by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Debussy and Ravel, in the program titled “Perchance to Dream,” that Paramount Executive Director Bruce Bouchard said he hoped would become an annual event. (The program was presented in Montpelier’s St. Augustine Church on Saturday.)
One of many highlights was Claude Debussy’s sensually Impressionist “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.” Intimacy was the mark of this most sensual performance. Montpelier flutist Karen Kevra, Capital City Concerts’ artistic director, had the big solos, which she delivered sensitively and expressively, as did the other soloists, oboist Randall Randall Wolfgang and violinist Arturo Delmoni. Kosma paced the work so it breathed naturally, and the result was gorgeous.
Montpelier’s Capital City Concerts is unusual in that it creates unique collaborations between Vermont musicians and national artists. Kosma is both a 30-year veteran bass player in New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and longtime music director of the Vermont Philharmonic, the state’s oldest community orchestra. Delmoni, a renowned solo violinist, spends three months each year as concertmaster of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and is part of Randolph’s Central Vermont Chamber Orchestra.
Conversely, flutist Ceora Jaffe (once a student of Kevra) and violinists Jane Kittredge and Owen Lenz are all Vermont natives enjoying professional careers elsewhere. Flutists Kevra and her student Jillian Reed, violist Elizabeth Reid and French hornists Joy Worland and Steven Behnke are resident Vermonters. The remainder are or have been members of this country’s major orchestra, including the Met and the Cleveland Orchestra.
Four outstanding woodwind soloists were featured in the afternoon’s favorite, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, K. 297b. Oboist Wolfgang, clarinetist Daniel Gilbert, French hornist Donna Dolson and bassoonist Robert Wagner played and interplayed with expressiveness and great finesse. Kosma led the orchestra in a most elegant performance.
Maurice Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet, the program’s only real chamber work, was another Impressionist masterpiece. Harpist Anna Reinersman delivered an expert and beautifully ethereal performance, complemented by the sensitive expressiveness of flutist Kevra, clarinetist Gilbert and the quartet led by Delmoni.
Most familiar, perhaps, was the Scherzo from Felix Mendelssohn’s Incidental Music to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” which received a rewardingly rich and precise performance by Kosma and the orchestra. Richard Wagner’s “Seigfried Idyll,” which opened the program, could have been more dramatic but was instead intimately beautiful.
High-level music making is happening more and more in Vermont — thanks to some excellent local musicians and their visiting friends.
CAPITAL CITY CONCERTS
Capital City Concerts will present violinist Rachel Barton Pine in a recital of virtuoso works by Beethoven, Strauss, Villa-Lobos and Fairouz at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, at Montpelier’s Unitarian Church. For information, go online to www.capitalcityconcerts.org.
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