The evening opened with one of my favourite pieces, which never fails to conjure up images of Torvill and Dean in my mind...yep, it was "Bolero". Snare drum player John Rudolph was moved to a place of honour in the centre of the orchestra, rather than remaining at the back in the percussion section. The orchestra started so quietly it was hard to tell that the piece actually had started. It took a moment for people to stop fidgeting and strain their ears for that familiar beat.
|Torvill and Dean Bolero Program|
The second piece was another I'd heard before, but really like. As I hear it more the other sections are starting to grow on me, but I still love the finale. This was 1919 suite of "The Firebird", shorter than the other suite Stravinsky also wrote from the ballet score. As Mr. Oundjian said in his introduction it has the same pull to your feet as the Bolero. I was more inclined to get to my feet after Bolero, but perhaps that's just a personal preference.
There were multiple player switch-outs in the winds and brass for various pieces. It was nice to see a lot of familiar faces in one evening. Congratulations to the newest brass player, Steven Woomert, winning the Associate Principal Trumpet position and replacing his father Barton who retired last season.