Music from home | AspenTimes.com

Music from home

I went to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra last night and experienced two of our Aspen friends (I guess that when one has been treated to banquet after banquet of fine music, summer after summer, by certain artists at the Aspen Music Festival, one can safely call them “friends”) play Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Brahms.

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, dressed in metallic black pants and metallic yellow sleeveless blouse, was her usual super-confident and somewhat dramatic-appearing self.

She energetically, skillfully and enthrallingly played the dominating solo part in Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 28, receiving a standing ovation.

Then Lynn Harrell, dressed in black with his signature Nehru collar, in his relaxed, friendly manner, made his appearance.

He made his Stradivarius (or was it his Montagnana?) absolutely sing as he played the solo part in Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 33. His notes ranged flawlessly and majestically from the highest to the lowest, from the strongest to the softest. He, too, received a standing ovation.

After intermission, we were treated to Brahms’ Concerto in A minor for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra, Op. 102, “Double” Concerto. Nadja and Lynn (it having been established that they are friends, first names seem appropriate) were both very relaxed and obviously had fun.

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At times when they were not busy playing, they could be seen saying something to each other and laughing together about it, only to return to their parts perfectly on time when the score beckoned. Their performance, like that of the orchestra, under the direction of Andrew Litton, seemed flawless, and they again received a standing ovation, this time with three curtain calls.

Another great banquet put on by our Aspen friends, this time in Dallas!

Irvin Ebaugh

Dallas, Texas

(former Aspen resident)