Tuesday, October 8, 2013

concert review: San Jose Chamber Orchestra

So, a week-plus ago, I reviewed the season's first concert by Symphony Silicon Valley. They played Glinka, Prokofiev, and Berlioz, all names I expect you know.

This last weekend, I reviewed the season's first concert by the San José Chamber Orchestra. They played Grazyna Bacewicz, Kerry Lewis, and Chris Pratorius, and I expect a rousing chorus of "who?"

Actually, I was familiar with all three composers, Bacewicz through modern music explorations, and the other two because they're local names who have turned up on local music concerts I've attended before. Not all the works, though, as the two works by living composers were premieres.

So I just had to go with my ears open and try to describe the feel of the music, the aspect that the admirably detailed descriptions in the program book left out.

Then there was the usual question of, "What was the encore?" There was a reception in the patio after the concert, but as I wandered around I couldn't find anybody free whom I could ask. (The only food, as opposed to drink, on the patio tables were these tiny little cheesecakes about the size of a clown's button. Everyone seemed to be raving over them, so against my better judgment I tried one. One bite, and it was so hideous I had to throw the rest in the trash. A food critic I won't make.)

So I wandered back inside, and in the small side auditorium saw the orchestra's principal cellist, who's also their music librarian, seated on the stage sorting through the parts. I walked in and asked to take a look. Sure enough, Piazzolla; that's why it was so much more fun than anything else.

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