Saturday, September 5, 2015

concert review: New Millennium Chamber Orchestra

The NMCO is a difficult orchestra to schedule a review for because they don't believe in putting their season up on their website. I had thought they were just like some other community orchestras that only schedule one concert at a time, so I was surprised on attending last weekend's to find several upcoming concerts listed in the program book. They're just not on the website. (Still aren't now.)

I only found out about this one because I was checking all the Peninsula groups' websites to schedule my season's reviewing for the Daily Journal and came across NMCO's summer concert scheduled for the unusual date for a classical ensemble of the last weekend in August. This, I thought, will be my chance to go - I'd only heard the orchestra once previously, at their inaugural concert 3 years ago - and my editor jumped at the suggestion. Here you can read what I had to say about the lovely program of Copland and Barber. Barber's James Agee setting, "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," is one of B's favorite works, and I can hear why: a perfectly emotionally balanced matching of words (this is prose, not verse) and music with the kind of intense pastoralism of VW's best. Here, listen to Dawn Upshaw singing it (this is the one I used to prepare for the concert):

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