Alasdair Neale guest conductor
Sarah Chang, violin
Gioachino Rossini: Semiramide: Overture
Samuel Barber: Concerto for Violin, op. 14
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, op. 64
As much as I like music, it's not often a "happiness moment" coincides with a concert. (Mostly because the particular kind of happiness I'm documenting is rare.) But Sunday was a bright exception. I had been particularly looking forward to the afternoon concert, because we've loved Sarah Chang's violin playing since she was playing on a quarter-sized violin. But Ms. Chang's lovely performance was not the most memorable event of the concert.
How often does the orchestra outshine the soloist?
We love the Barber Violin Concerto and we love Sarah Chang.
But hands down the best of the concert was the Tchaikovsky. Porter called it, "possibly the best I've ever heard the Orlando Philharmonic play." I don't care much for the modern habit of giving standing ovations so often that ordinary applause makes musicians think, "What did we do wrong?" But this one was truly well-deserved. The music came alive, it was meaningful, it was powerful—and what's more, it looked as if the musicians were enjoying themselves. This is hardly an obscure piece—and yet I can say that I've never heard a performance of Tchaikovsky 5 that moved me more.
Plus, it really helped that the concert was at 3 p.m. I'm far from my best and most appreciative when I'm struggling to stay awake. Not to mention the earlier time is safer for the drive home. :)