Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

March 9, 2011

Mozart and Prokofiev

Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Springfield, MA
March 5, 2011
by Debra Tinkham

The orchestra's plates were full last Saturday! The announced program of "Mozart and Prokofiev" was an understatement, because there was also an additional surprise from "Water Music" by Handel.

"Water Music" is a collection of three suites for orchestra. This performance was minus the brass and woodwind instruments, with the exception of bassoon and oboe. The baroque rendition also featured Maestro Kevin Rhodes on harpsichord, while conducting the orchestra.

Adam Luftman, a young trumpet player with roots from Longmeadow, joined the orchestra in this lovely rendition, with a legend of Handel's desire to regain the favor of King George I. Officially, these multiple suites are in F major, D major and G major with a total of 21movements. The audience received a sampling of four with an exquisite bassoon and oboe solo, echoed back by Luftman and his trumpet.

Luftman also performed in Edward Gregson's Trumpet Concerto. This two movement concerto - darkly modern, dissonantly contemporary and disconnected - transcended into more classical variations with some very difficult trumpet passages. The orchestra, minus the woodwinds and brass, demonstrated complexity and dexterity, as did young Luftman.

Composer and pianist, Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1 in D Major utilized most of the orchestra most of the time. Also know as "The Classical," this delicate four movement script moves back and forth from contemporary to classical, as Prokofiev did live in the 20th Century. The Larghetto (II) was intensely romantic even without strings, and featured a pleasing bassoon and oboe interaction.

The finale was Mozart's Symphony No. 40 (G minor) in four movements, which was dark but with a flavorful flow and exceptional dynamics from pianissimo to fortissimo and back again. The ascending and descending scales and dynamics and degrees of difficulty made for exquisite listening.