Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

November 11, 2008

Springfield Symphony Orchestra

Symphony Hall, Springfield
by Debra Tinkham

Springfield Symphony Orchestra's full-to-capacity house featured a bevy of rhapsodic rhythms with a diverse menagerie of fairly contemporary composers and performers. At the top of the program, with Mexican composer and violinist, Silvestra Revueltas' Sensemaya, and, at the bottom of the program was French composer Maurice Ravel's "…only masterpiece" "Bolero."

The "meat" in the middle featured German composer Paul Hindemith's "Symphonic Metamorphosis On Themes of Carl Maria Von Weber." This modern, symphonic four movement thriller featured a lovely oboe solo in the Allegro movement, as well as a purely beautiful flute solo in the (II) Turandot: Scherzo movement.

Much could be said for this musically packed evening, but if Hindemith were the peanut butter part of the program (yummy), then Sergay Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" is the jelly. Rachmaninov and Paganini , in one sentence is a mouth full, to say the very least. Now you ask can it get better? The answer is definitively yes!

Young pianist, Aviram Reichart, an Israeli born genius, frequently performs for the leading orchestras of his country, in addition to such places as Japan, Korea, Dominican Republic, South Africa, Germany and the United States.

Paganini's variations, by themselves, are a study of virtuosic calisthenics, then along comes Rackmoninov throwing in a bunch of rather clever harmonization's, "Rack rhythms" (eccentric) and, of course the usual moodiness (borderline depression), which plagued the composer, performer and pianist most of his life. Reichart played Rackmoninov and Paganini masterfully. He was talented and emotional; serious and serene. He had a very close connection to his orchestra and a reverently respectful relationship with Maestro Kevin Rhodes.

The evening was a night of masterful music, packing more power than most lay people could or would learn in a lifetime. Bravo, SSO.