An Enchanted Evening

“A beautiful melody is like the perfect perfume: it lingers deliciously in the senses. After the applause dies down and we leave a concert there’s usually nothing more tangible than a ticket stub to remind us of the music we just heard – unless there’s an exquisite melody that we remember. It lets us relive the music one more time, even if only a faint whiff of it. Melody is just one part of the whole musical experience – often taking a backseat to rhythm or harmony – yet it has the uncanny power to stay with us.” – Joshua Bell – Romance of the Violin

Last evening’s concert was full of just that. How could we not leave humming Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor, Tchaikovsky’s Serenade in C major for Strings, or the ever so vibrant Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony No. 4 in A Major, when we have Itzhak Perlman convey the full spirit and emotion of the pieces through his ever reigning virtuosic abilities on the violin and conducting skills?

Mr. Perlman’s presence on the stage was enough to fill your evening with sheer satisfaction. The first note to Bach’s Violin Concerto was filled with such intensity as Perlman blended into the orchestra as he soared into notes and passages that certainly left you wanting more (of the flawless performance) after each note sang into the air. The 3rd Movement was quite lively and beautiful with blending lines. A Minor is not a key I would consider “warm”, (hence the minor part), but with Perlman, anything can sing. His performance so short, left me with definitely wanting more Perlman. But, with him as the conductor for the entire program – that was the cherry on the top.

Tchaikovsky’s Serenade was full of such warm chords. This blissful serenade was filled with such sparkling clarity from the violins as the violas, bass, and cellos were the strong metronome. The 2nd Movement was in my opinion quite dance-like. Each instrument crescendoed and diminuendoed into each other’s reply. The many question phrases in the music never went unanswered; the musicians of the PSO so beautifully gave their reply at the composer’s notation. I never ceased to be amazed at the musicality in which the PSO delivers the work performed.

Mendelssohn’s vibrant symphony is such a favorite of mine. It is just so – vibrant, energetic, vigorous, lively… The spicatto parts were like raindrops dancing on leaves from a Spring rain. As the piece progressed you could imagine the sun was coming out, drying the leaves, and the creatures awakening from their burrows. After a Spring rain one would of course expect a rainbow. And at that moment the piece was filled with the most beautiful rainbow not giving one color more or less musical-ness.

This was an exquisite evening that was long anticipated. Each piece had the ability to take you into a beautiful new world for a short period of time. One can never go wrong with Perlman, the PSO and the genius composers and their works that were chosen for this program in a performance. There was certainly more than “the tangible ticket stub”. We were left with a beautiful melody that “lingered deliciously in the senses.”

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May 27