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Blogging live from Hochstein (preview of Sunday, Feb. 24)

February 23, 2013

I (Liane) had a wonderful treat (Friday) listening to a rehearsal of the RCO (led by Arild Remmereit) in preparation for the Sunday (Feb. 24) concert.   First of all, Hochstein is a remarkable space (you Rochesterians know this, but it was my first visit).

Remmereit has planned a perfectly balanced afternoon, including some delightful surprises.  The chamber orchestra (string ensemble with two oboes and two horns) worked in rehearsal in drawing out a wide palette of colors from this small number of instruments.  Haydn’s Symphony no. 49 (La Passione) is a work of intensity and intimacy, ending with an energetic Presto.  So much of the rehearsal process was devoted to shading the articulations and delicate microcosms of nuance: shape of notes, then phrases, then the whole.  The strings achieve a range of timbres:  silvery, nasal, caressingly delicate, full throated.  While not a period instrument ensemble, in the airiness of the articulations and precision of detail the influence of the historic performance movement is strongly felt.

Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces are a lusciously different sound world.  Here the string section brings a palpable warmth and thickness to the musical texture.  Here it was as if the strings are a totally different instrument, with their golden vibratos.   “Evening in the Mountains” offers a special treat with its rhapsodic, introspective oboe solo.  Did I mention that oboe is my favorite instrument? (at least as played by Zachary Hammond).

The afternoon will conclude with Mozart Symphony No. 29.  This will be a beautiful and exhilarating concert experience, and a wonderful opportunity to hear Remmereit in action with the Rochester Chamber Orchestra.

[Since I am a music critic on my home turf, I could not resist giving this little preview!  Thank you,

Liane Curtis]

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