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Front Page
Virtuosi end season brilliantly
May 22, 2001
NEW BRITAIN -- The Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra brought its season to a glorious close Friday evening at First Church of Christ. Under Conductor Adrian Mackiewicz, whose energy directs and consistently ins-pires the musicians, the program was strictly for enjoyment. It included Boccherini?s Sinfonia Op. 37 in D minor, Schubert?s Symphony No. 5 in B flat Major and featured Dmitri Novgorodsky, who received his musical education in the former USSR and at Yale University, performing Chopin?s Piano Concerto No. 1.
What a treat the Chopin was! Novgorodsky interpreted the work with passion, exquisite simplicity and dazzling technique. After the definitive opening piano statement, each note that cascaded from the soloist?s fingers had its own translucent articulation and joyfulness. The deceptively simple seeming tonalities of the Romanze movement were of such sensitivity, expression and eloquence that it was impossible not to be affected by Novgorodsky?s interpretation.

It has been the practice of Mackiewicz to present the work of Polish composers in his concerts, and this combination was a particularly happy choice. The guest artist played the work as though he had written every note himself, and his virtuosity was so great that beauty and clarity generated their own electricity.Those who attended the concert, and there were several new faces in the audience, can congratulate themselves that they heard Chopin played as it should be, and possibly never better.

The Schubert Fifth Symphony is a delightful work, full of pleasant, cheerful combinations and themes.It brims over with good feelings, which were interpreted with gusto by Mackiewicz , who throws himself into the music, enticing his musicians to follow his pleasure in doing so. The strings played with fine tonality, as did the woodwinds. This is a finely knit, well-integrated orchestra, which responds with quality and vigor to the vivid, creative leadership of Mackiewicz.

The Boccherini was a pleasing, spirited work, giving the woodwinds and strings some good opportunities for melody.

The Concerti Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra has added in three years an exciting new dimension to New Britain?s musical legacy. Presenting concerts and soloists of the finest quality in the easily accessible First Church, it can only grow in appeal, stature and appreciation.

-- J.V.W.B.

©The Herald 2001
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