Guelph Symphony Orchestra in concert

I went to the performance of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra titled “American Rhapsody.” This is the first time I’ve seen this orchestra.

I know and love all four pieces they played — Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and “Hoe-Down,” George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” and Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.”

“Hoe-Down” is part of the¬†larger work¬†“Rodeo.” “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story” is Bernstein’s re-imagining of his music from the musical — without any singing. The orchestra gets to do some things they don’t usually do in the latter — they snap their fingers and yell “Mambo!”

When you go to a live performance you can hear details that you don’t get from a CD — you can also hear a slightly different interpretation of the music. There’s also an energy from the performers.

Overall the concert was highly enjoyable. I found in a small number of spots that an instrument was standing out a bit more than perhaps it should.

I like the conductor, Judith Yan, a lot — she has what I would call a straightforward conducting style. She spoke in between the first two pieces and she’s very funny.

The piano soloist for “Rhapsody in Blue” was Amy Di Nino. She wasn’t unnecessarily flamboyant like some piano soloists — she just played well.

For “Hoe-Down” the orchestra was joined by the Guelph Symphony Youth Orchestra. With the two groups together there were close to 100 performers.

If you are going to a concert and you’re going to talk to the person next to you during it, don’t — stay home.

I will undoubtedly attend more GSO concerts in the future.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 24th, 2013 at 7:38 pm and is filed under Reviews of music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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