<< -- 4 -- Kelly Ferjutz ASSURED AND CONFIDENT
Can there be anyone -- anywhere -- who has not heard the Fifth Symphony of Beethoven? Those first four notes set the mood, signalling that something of merit is about to follow, and this performance was exactly that. Full of merit. It was lively and energetic, with crisp dynamics and continuous forward motion.
In this more familiar repertoire, Mr Gaffigan was vigorous, using body English to convey his wishes to the musicians. The first-chair wind players all contributed lovely solos throughout. In total contrast to the brassy brilliance were those moments of unbelievable softness in the strings, especially in the second movement before the little pizzicato march, and again in the finale before being joined by the staccato sounds of the winds. The double basses and cellos were brisk and musically husky in their big scherzo-ish section. Each note was amazingly clear and distinct.
It seems as though the entire finale movement is really one long ending, or preparation for such. The tension builds and builds until those final slashing chords bring the piece to a halt. I can't imagine a performance of this work that doesn't end in a clamorous standing ovation, and this one didn't disappoint. After the first bows, the orchestra reluctantly stood to share the well-deserved acclaim with their young conductor.
Copyright © 9 January 2006
Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA
The concert reviewed took place on 6 January 2006 at Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. For tickets or information about upcoming concerts, call +1 (216) 231 1111, or visit the orchestra's web-site: www.clevelandorchestra.com