Tuesday, February 7, 2012

concert review: Nova Vista Symphony

Yesterday I went on longer than I'd intended about the new undergraduate music concert I'd attended on Sunday, so I omitted also going on about the concert I'd attended on Saturday. This was a local community group called the Nova Vista Symphony. Local groups can be the mischief, so I usually only go if I can't resist the program, and I liked the idea of a self-indulgent Brahms festival just two miles from my house, cheap.

Nova Vista, which I hadn't heard before, turns out to be of middling quality for an amateur group. The usual constant intonation problems in all sections, and more than enough spots where the ensemble rots into chaotic sludge, are compensated for by a very nice tone quality and an ability to dream of interpretive subtlety if not reach it.

Their First Piano Concerto was utterly expressionless, which suited the style of the pianist, Helene Wickett, but at least she does it deliberately and hits all the notes competently. (I've heard her before, and she's always like this.) The Academic Festival Overture was OK, certainly better than the last time I heard it, from the Stanford Symphony, and I positively enjoyed our cruise through the Second Symphony, full of shoals and wobbling waves though it was.

The conductor, Anthony Quartuccio, whom I've also seen before, looks exactly like Victor Herbert.

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