Fun Concert with Alondra de la Parra

What a fun concert! The first concert of the season is always tough, because we've not played together in the Ohio acoustic for months. As nice as Chemical Abstracts is for Summer concerts, it doesn't quite compare!

I loved Alondra's choice of Marquez's Danzon #2 as the opening for this concert. (not only for the lovely clarinet solo which starts the piece!) The sensual and passionate music connected us with her through the music of her country, Mexico, and it also connected the repertoire of the evening with the theme of dance, as Ms. de la Parra suggested from the podium in her spoken concert notes.

The Marquez also led the way to the second piece, Daniel Schnyder's angular, jazzy Bass Trombone concerto, "subZERO", played by the fantastic musician Stefan Schulz, a member of the esteemed Berlin Phil. (darn, I didn't get his autograph). Composer Schnyder, also a saxophonist, has written other pieces with jazz influence. In this concerto, he finds fresh perspective on the often over-indulged jazz/classical clich├ęs, using exotic Arabic scales and styles. The slow movement has the timeless feel of a great Miles Davis tune.

I don't know the encore Schulz played, and didn't have a chance to ask him, since right after he played, a crowd of trombone students flocked to him first! But it was gorgeous, and gorgeously played!!! Pianist Suzanne Newcomb, who played with him for the encore, did a fantastic job all night, especially in the concerto!

Playing Beethoven's 7th symphony for the umpteenth time, I can also say I never tire of it. Who could? But tonight's version, led by Alondra, wore me out! (in a good way) I wonder how many notes the string players had per second! Wow. Beethoven's "minimalist" last movement, with it's hypnotic, almost tarantella-esque fervor, seems an appropriate opener for what I hope will be a new energy and direction for the Columbus Symphony.

The decent sized crowd seemed to enjoy the concert. That's always my favorite part!

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