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Santora opened the concert with a vigorous, characterful traversal of the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro. The Boca Symphony musicians played with lithe, precise ensemble. Oboist Erika Yamada's solo was elegantly stated. This was vigorous, no nonsense Mozart of the period instrument school.

Charles Ives's Symphony No 3 (The Camp Meeting) belongs to that revolutionary composer's Americana phase. Protestant hymn tunes (familiar to the composer from his childhood in Danbury, Connecticut) weave through the music's layered textures. Modal harmonies suddenly turn into bold dissonance. Santora led Kenneth Singleton's authoritative edition for the Ives Society which is surprisingly bracing and astringent. Earlier editions by Henry Cowell and Lou Harrison toned down the score's modernity in favor of folksy nationalism. It was a revelation to hear Ives's boldly original creation in its pristine form. (Among the leaders of the Ives Society's yeoman musicological work are conductors James Sinclair and Michael Tilson Thomas). Santora led an intense, driving performance with strong instrumental colors and differentiation. Concertmaster Huigang Chen, violist Michael Klotz, and cellist Susan Moyer shone brightly in solo turns. The symphony's finale (based on the hymn Just As I Am) is eloquent and moving. This performance was a landmark for the recently formed orchestra.

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Copyright © 21 March 2006 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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