Friday, May 1, 2009

Millennium Stage - Mozart, Schubert, Ramais, Shostakovich - 4/30/09

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622 - Allegro
Schubert: Sonata in A Minor, D 821, "Arpeggione" - Allegro moderato
Marais: Les Folies d'Espagne
Shostakovich: Cello Sonata in D Minor - Allegro non troppo & Allegro

Since I was going to the Kennedy Center for the NSO’s performance of Haydn’s mighty Creation, I naturally decided to check out the NSO Youth Fellows at the Millennium Stage. This wonderful program has been designed for the most promising of local high school musical talents, and these lucky budding musicians get special training by some of the NSO musicians as well as an overall view of the classical music business. While in most cases they, of course, haven’t developed the professional assurance of more seasoned players, it is always refreshing to see their seemingly never-ending enthusiasm and dedication.

Yesterday, clarinetist David Scott had the dubious honor to start the concert and was a bit on the stiff side. His Allegro of Mozart’s clarinet concerto was not very, well, happy, but nevertheless competent.
The much more relaxed violist, Lee Fan, played a beautifully lyrical and heart-felt Allegro moderato and would have made Schubert happy.
Flutist Hillary Tidman was assured, if missing a bit of the exuberance expected in the Folies d'Espagne, but I've never been particularly sensitive to the flute anyway, so I enjoyed what I could while waiting for the next student.
The best showed up last in the person of Erin Snedecor who displayed already impressive maturity and sensitivity in a richly nuanced performance of the first two movements of Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata in D Minor.

I couldn't stay for the last piece, Gliere's Horn Concerto in B-flat Minor, Op. 61, but I can't say I was heart-broken. My ears and mind had been slowly eased into full awakening, and I headed to the concert hall for The Creation.

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