Festival of the Arts BOCA 2009

Performances

March 2009

On Tour

07 Sat

Count de Hoernle Amphitheater

Boca Raton

FL

Program

Beethoven
Coriolan Overture
Violin Concerto
Symphony No. 2
Conductor:

Mikhail Pletnev

Guest Artist:

Itzhak Perlman, Violin

Festival of the Arts BOCA 2009

On Tour

10 Tue

Count de Hoernle Amphitheater

Boca Raton

FL

Program

Beethoven
5th Symphony
5th Piano Concerto
Conductor:

Mikhail Pletnev

Guest Artist:

Jeremy Denk, Piano

Festival of the Arts BOCA 2009

On Tour

13 Fri

Count de Hoernle Amphitheater

Boca Raton

FL

Program

Getty
PlumpJack Overture
Gershwin
Rhapsody in Blue
Saint-Saëns
Cello Concerto
Dvorak
New World Symphony
Conductor:

Alondra de la Parra

Guest Artists:

Anna Karina Alamo, Piano

Nina Kotova, Cello

Festival of the Arts BOCA 2009

On Tour

15 Sun

Count de Hoernle Amphitheater

Boca Raton

FL


Reviews

Palm Beach ArtsPaper

We have reached the point as a civilization where you'd think there was absolutely nothing new someone could bring to the Fifth Symphony of Beethoven... And yet there it was tonight at the Festival of the Arts Boca: A performance of this 205-year-old masterwork that was sometimes head-shakingly odd and textually questionable, but that was overall so sensational that it had your ears on full alert and your eyes on the stage, wondering what was going to come next. It sounded new, it sounded bold, and it sounded revolutionary, and that is exactly what its composer would have wanted. This reading of the Fifth came courtesy of Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra... This is a large, powerful ensemble that must rank among the finer orchestras in the world, and [Pletnev] is willing to use everything his big band can give him, and that means plush, colorful and high-octane versions of these canonical works.... Then, too, was the sheer virtuosity of this orchestra, the lower strings blazing through the fugal passage that follows the initial C major blast of the finale, and easily brushing off all of the usual stumbling blocks in the symphony everywhere else. Mention should also be made of the nearly Brucknerian approach to the brass parts, especially in the finale, where the big perorations of the music were drenched with trumpet, horn and trombone color, an effect that pushed the work's sonic identity 50 years into the future. It was an exceptional presentation, full of power and majesty, tremendous light and sepulchral dark, and even though I couldn't agree with some of the choices Pletnev made, it was in every important sense an original rethinking of the Fifth.

South Florida Classical Review

The all-Beethoven concert opened with the composer’s Second Symphony in a performance that emphasized lucidity and light textures... The Larghetto was beautifully played with some stunningly refined string execution, and the woodwinds were always clear, clean, and well blended within the orchestral fabric... In Pletnev’s hands... the piece took wing most effectively, and with a considerable amount of Classical restraint. Perlman... delivered the goods as soloist in Beethoven’s concerto, which was presented with both freshness and melting lyricism, as if this artist were presenting it for the first time.

South Florida Classical Review

Perlman communicated well with the players, and they responded with stirring energy and considerable restraint when the music required it. The French horns were particularly brazen and barked out the rhythms as Beethoven must have really wanted. As a matter of balance, all fit in perfectly within the context. The Ninth Symphony... was even more thrilling than usual... the horns covered themselves in glory as their radiant tones came to the fore... Strings and woodwinds achieved great expressiveness as Perlman kept things flowing in rapt, otherworldly beauty.

San Francisco Classical Voice

The top-notch Russian National Orchestra... performed Gordon Getty's Plump Jack Overture... The orchestra played it well under the evening's guest conductor, self-assured, young, Mexican Alondra de la Parra, who secured the many quick tempo and mood changes... The RNO produced a properly jazzy performance [of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue], its clarinet, trombone, and trumpet exaggerating the smears and wah-wah with evident relish... Nina Kotova [played] Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto... her glorious tone and fluid technique commanded, and she and the orchestra evoked more of the music's charm... Joshua Bell played Saint-Saens' Rondo Capriccioso with all the showiness the flamboyant piece invites. De la Parra then led Dvorák’s “New World” Symphony...she's well-trained, and has a good technique... the RNO sounded grand... [Earlier in the week] the RNO produced a strong, satisfying Beethoven Fifth Symphony under its founding conductor, Mikhail Pletnev. This performance enhanced his considerable stature and that of the orchestra, which prides itself on its Beethoven... the orchestra produced a deep sound and musical playing.

Palm Beach ArtsPaper

Had there been any doubt that the Russian National Orchestra is one of the major stars of this year's Festival of the Arts Boca, Friday night's concert at the 11-day music-and-literature gathering would have dispelled it. Given an unusual program with three soloists and widely varied music... it was crucial that the Moscow-based orchestra be able to hold everything together. And it did... In the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso of Camille Saint-Saens, [Joshua Bell's] tone was big and commanding, his mastery of virtuoso display thrilling...[In the slow movement of Saint-Saens'] First Cello Concerto, [Nina Kotova] indulged her beautiful, noble tone quality, which stood out elegantly against the orchestra's delicate playing... The concert opened with the Plump Jack Overture of Gordon Getty [which] has moments of musical distinction... such as a winking kind of motif in the violins.... The concert closed with the durable Ninth Symphony of Antonin Dvorak [which] the RNO played with glorious color and impressive power.

Palm Beach Post

The Festival of the Arts BOCA program that violinist Itzhak Perlman and the Russian National Orchestra offered Saturday night [was] exciting and extraordinary... The Russian National Orchestra's sound was joyfully robust... They're a muscular and well-balanced group, with a full sound and a swaggering musicality.

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa Valley...is precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural links...at a critical time for both societies. [This] resonates with the public [and] is meaningful for the musician participants...Cultural diplomacy and music offer alternatives to contention and sustain important linkages between our societies for the long run...Now more than ever we need viable citizen-to-citizen points of contact and dialogue."

James F. Collins (Ambassador Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace