Saturday evening, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra presented a program which their conductor, Charles Demuynck, called Brilliance and Light. It contained the Triple Concerto in C major by Beethoven and Symphony #41 in C major; ‘the Jupiter’, by Mozart. The Triple Concerto is unique in that it is the only classical concerto ever written for a trio of soloists. Amy Dorfman, piano; Carolyn Hubel, violin; and cellist Felix Wong are the Blakemore Triofrom Nashville, Tennessee and they played the trio parts brilliantly & with perfect timing.
The piece opens fairly quietly with the orchestra first, then the cello, before the violin and piano join in. During the allegro the piano is dramatic and insistent while the violin is very sweet. Their reading was deliberate and forceful but still expressed all of Beethoven’s compositional sensitivity. Later in the rondo alla polacca, [Polonaise style] notes were tossed from piano to violin and on to the cello in a very playful way. The finale is popular & familiar… the trio obviously enjoyed performing it as much as the audience appreciated hearing it. Because of the space required by ‘Blakemore’, the orchestra was backed into a corner of the church and this changed the acoustics and made their sound fuller, but negatively affected the brass & winds that were located at the apex.
Prior to the playing of the Mozart, Demuynck told us that this was a mathematically balanced piece with the exposition falling at precisely the ‘Golden Mean’. J.S. Bach’s music exemplified the 3-5-8 relationship that occurs in nature, proportionate man, and reflected in architecture (think pineapples, one’s arm & The Kremlin! Ed.) I had thought the Orchestra was being very brave to attempt the Jupiter with only thirty or so musicians when it is usually played by seventy or more, but they did a wonderful job… only sounding a little thin during the allegro. By the time they got to the menuetto and final molto allegro they sounded lyric and full bodied. However, the arrangement was rather too deliberate. It was interesting that both pieces of music only required the tympani as percussion, which was very necessary and more than adequate.
O.C.O. concert audience attendance continues to expand. This writer also observed that either from expanded awareness or just exposure to the protocols of classical music, audiences are more familiar with concert etiquette and convention. The orchestra itself is improving each year under the able direction of Charles Demuynck and is a true pleasure to hear.