Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

February 25, 2016

Centennial Sinatra: Celebrating the Music of Ol' Blue Eyes

Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Springfield, MA
February 13, 2016
by Eric Sutter

The celebration of the music of “Ol' Blue Eyes” was a huge success. Sharp dressed vocalist Steve Lippia treated a fun audience to the music of Frank Sinatra, under the direction of guest conductor Steve Sigmund. A dramatic instrumental overture of Sinatra classics set the mood. The prelude of strings, woodwinds, and horn section built a triad of sound to create a relaxed ambiance, bringing forth Lippia in fine form for "All or Nothing at All."

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra was up to the task of accompaniment for "I'll Be Seeing You" and "I'll Never Smile Again." "Without A Song" had a galvanic effect as the horn section gave it a blast. Lippia possessed a smooth flow and cool mannerism while sharing interesting tidbits of information about Sinatra along the way. His deep baritone commanded mightily on "One For My Baby", while the genteel piano of Jeff Holmes played an enlivening compliment. A beautiful rendition of "Old Man River" showcased the string section, producing a swelling, layered effect of string sound, staggered in succession. Nice job!

Act 2 began with the familiar "I've Got You Under My Skin,” featuring a crescendo of stringed gusto. The audience swooned to "Summer Wind" and "Strangers In The Night" due to Lippia's spot on vocals. The moody "Softly As I Leave You" delivered a harmonic connection. Shifting sounds, the horn section hit hard in the middle portion of "Fly Me To The Moon", as the woodwinds and percussion competed to show their stuff. A suave treatment of Billy Joel's masterpiece "Just the Way You Are" was met with approval, highlighting nice changes in tempo and timbre. Conductor Sigmund conjured up perfectly timed horn blasts for "Luck Be A Lady" to noticeable audience satisfaction. The obligatory "My Way" was alive with Sinatra magic while a robust "New York, New York" made for a light, playful finale.