Tag Archives: Rossen Milanov

Symphony in C for Camden

Symphony in C, Rossen Milanov, conducting, Agustin Hadelich, violin; Gordon Hall, Rutgers University, Camden, May 5, 2012, Review for WRTI, 90. 1 fm

Patco, Center City to Camden is an easy ride. I could have driven over the Ben Franklin  but riding the rails with a friend to hear the Symphony in C at Camden Rutgers Performing Arts is a trip I’ll venture again after Saturday night’s safe, well-lit 10 minute walk.  Gordon Theatre has good acoustics, maestro Rossen Milanov’s proven his worth,  and his Symphony excels. Hard to believe it’s completing its 59th season.  A packed house Saturday night saluted the  challenging program. Gyorgy Ligeti’s Violin Concerto. German artist Agustin Hadelich was the soloist. A scaled down orchestra supporting the solo violin, which has a haunting pairing with viola. Hadelich’s musicianship was at a fevered pitch. Milanov’s control was equal to it. Over five movements, ferocious intensity  was conveyed — and inwardness. Strange music, strangely satisfying.

Symphony “From the New World,” Dvorak’s No. 9 in E Minor came after intermission: The canonic warhorse needed more care. Not the opening movement which was fine. Not the famous Largo which began stiffly but as things warmed up, the English horn solo went nicely. There was so much bark and bluster to the  final movements – Scherzo and that fiery Allegro – all that asking for attention, well, they lost mine.

More flair and refinement to the Symphony in C’s performance  of Roger Zare’s Green Flash which opened. The title is a scientific term for what happens in the sky as  sunset ends. Zare,  who won this year’s Young Composers Competition. has multiple awards and credentials. Some of his teachers are Michael Daughterty and Bright Sheng. The idiom is neo-romantic. The piece for large orchestra shimmers and  flows. It blazes. The strings in high registers have a sheen. Zare knows his instruments and how to combine them. The packed house liked it. So did I.

Fa la la… Orchestra mixes it up for Xmas

The Glorious Sound of Christmas, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rossen Milanov, cond., Mendelssohn Choir,  Alan Harler, director, soloists from the Curtis Institute and Academy of Vocal Arts;  Pat Carriocchi, narrator. Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Dec. 15-17, 2011, Review of Dec. 17 for WRTI, 90. 1 fm.

To celebrate its 10th year at the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Orchestra wanted to include the musical community in its annual Christmas concert at Verizon Hall, maestro Rossen Milanov told the cheerful crowd at Verizon Hall Saturday night. The Mendelsohn Club offered a selection of carols, J.S. Bach (from The Mass in B Minor) and Handel;  pretty women from the Curtis Institute bowed away at Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins in B Minor.

The Glorious Sound of Christmas was a potpourri of musical entertainment. Excerpts from The Nutcracker included two arrangements by Ellington and Strayhorn that showed bassist Mike Shaham and clarinetist Sam Caveziel’s gifts of improv and guest saxophone player Larry McKenna. On the other end of sentiment, newscaster Pat Carriocchi  narrated (very well) “The Night Before Christmas.” Whomever put together the orchestra’s holiday program took the kitchen sink approach.

The famous opening  scene from La Boheme was enacted on stage.  Curtis soprano Elizabeth Zharoff and AVA tenor Zach Borischevsky have superb voices. They did a terrific job staying in character through the long scene in front of maestro Milanov. They had some trouble powering  over the orchestra – which is to be expected -most Mimis and Rodolfos do not sing at these posts! Borischevsky was singing at the 11th hour for the tenor who took ill.

Nice to hear the Mendelsohnians whose esprit is unrivaled. The after- intermission number, Bass’s Gloria was richly legato.

Milanov is a smooth leader and genial host. Peter Conti at the organ did a fine job and  how swell his essential instrument looked with the colored pipes mimicking holiday ornaments.

Next up- gifted women worth knowing: English leader Jane Glover’s “Messiah,” and young Sarah Hicks’ Viennese New Years’ program.