Masterworks 4 Concert Review by John Bridges

ASHEVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

MASTERWORKS  4 • BEETHOVEN’S “PASTORAL” SYMPHONY

Daniel Meyer, conductor

Jeanette Aufiero, piano
Saturday, February 11, 2012 • 8:00 pm
Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
Asheville, North Carolina

– Review –

Asheville Symphony Conductor Daniel Meyer led the orchestra in three strong works of radically different styles Saturday evening in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. The capacity audience received the concert with enthusiasm.

The concert began with Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6” also known as   the “Pastoral Symphony”. In keeping with the title, the music was accompanied by an extensive series of colorful slides of landscape art in various styles and provided by the Asheville Art Museum. The balance between the musical charm and form of the work and its lyrical impulse was brought out by the conductor and the players. “The brook flowed untroubled” and the finale was wonderfully expansive.

After intermission, Franz Liszt’s “Piano Concert No. 1” was played in a grand and very brave manner by young virtuoso Jeanette Aufiero from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was fearless in the face of every technical obstacle of this demanding work. The thrilling quality of her musicianship rose above all technical considerations.

Sometimes dismissed as “bleeding chunks”, the “Prelude and Liebestod” from Richard Wagner’s opera “Tristan und Isolde” emerged with a unity of approach and a sense of the dramatic structure inherent in the opera. The sensitive opening chords prepared the way for the gradual broadening of the sound and onto the emotional finality in the deaths of the lovers.