The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra’s March 22 live performance at Georgia State College’s Marvin Cole Auditorium was a night of excessive ambitions solely partially achieved. Regardless of taking part in to an enthusiastic viewers that numbered close to capability, the symphony’s focus appeared misplaced in what can greatest be described as a transitional section in its group.
The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra has been on an ongoing hunt for a brand new everlasting conductor, a prolonged and arduous course of that has come right down to 4 finalists: Paul Bhasin, conductor of the Emory College Symphony Orchestra; Sean Vogt, director of Clayton State College’s Director of Choral Exercise and conductor of the Spivey Corridor Masterworks Refrain; Michael Giel, faculty band conductor of Lassiter Excessive College; and freelance conductor John Clanton. Every conductor is taking a flip on the podium through the orchestra’s spring run.
Vogt, conductor of the night’s efficiency, comes with a background wealthy in sacred music that features his present function as Director of Music at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Sandy Springs and his earlier stint as Choirmaster on the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Mom Church of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
It could be straightforward to position him on the high of the heap on credentials alone. But, Vogt’s efficiency was certainly one of crippling restraint, his motions barely amounting to greater than a mild metronome. Provided that this night was dedicated to music used to honor completely different royal households of the world, the shortage of vigor was sorely noticeable, kneecapping the depth of the grandiose music on show.
The night commenced with a efficiency of the Ukrainian nationwide anthem as a present of solidarity with these at present withstanding the Russian onslaught. It was a grand gesture delivered with good intentions however it might see the primary of a collection of slips that continued all through the night.
At first I registered a slight dissonance within the bass horns — a few low notes that felt barely out of tune. The next piece, Tchaikovsky’s “Coronation March,” was offered as a thematic counterbalance because it was written for Alexander III, a Russian czar recognized for advocating peace. It ought to have been magnificent, stuffed with pomp and circumstance, however was as a substitute torpid and punctuated by the recurring slip-ups.
The second piece, C.H.H. Parry’s “Bridal March of The Birds,” chosen for the night’s program as a consequence of its use through the marriage procession of Prince William and Kate Middleton, was nonetheless shaky in its total tone, and I observed a brashness to the sound that had me questioning the acoustic high quality of the ability.
My issues would develop into extra centered throughout Edvard Grieg’s “Våren” (“The Final Spring”), which noticed great pressure within the sound high quality of the string part: What ought to have been wistful and mawkish was as a substitute tense and grating. The final straw got here throughout Beethoven’s “King Stephen Overture,” when a violinist noticeably didn’t cease in time together with his part mates. Total, the orchestra displayed a community-theater stage of efficiency.
The night’s first half concluded with its most fulfilling phase, a set of items from the John Williams rating for Star Wars: A New Hope. Typical of film soundtracks, they have been intensely centered on the melody and largely devoid of the sort of structural intricacy that had befuddled the DSO throughout its earlier foray into Beethoven. All in all, it made for a pleasing near a lackluster first half.
The night’s second half could be its humble redemption, due to a visitor efficiency by the all the time stellar Julie Coucheron for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat Main, op. 73. Coucheron is a dynamic performer recognized for fascinating shows of virtuosity. For as soon as Vogt’s humble conducting appeared acceptable, the orchestra respectfully within the shadows of Coucheron’s commanding presence.
The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra will proceed its “Masterworks” collection on Could 15 with conductor Michael Giel and particular visitor cellist Barney Culver. The collection’ fourth and closing installment will happen on June 21 with conductor John Clanton and visitor pianist Joseph Holt.
Jordan Owen started writing about music professionally on the age of 16 in Oxford, Mississippi. A 2006 graduate of the Berklee Faculty of Music, he’s an expert guitarist, bandleader and composer. He’s at present the lead guitarist for the jazz group Different Strangers, the ability steel band Axis of Empires and the melodic demise/thrash steel band Century Spawn.