Eclectic Philharmonic program brings energy

Jennifer Koh
The Oklahoman

By Lauren Hughes

On Oct. 7, Maestro Matthew Troy graced the Civic Center podium, leading the OKC Philharmonic's second Classics concert of the series. Joined by stunning violinist Jennifer Koh, the Philharmonic offered patrons an exciting, eclectic program consisting of Rossin's "Barber of Saville Overture," Barber's "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14," Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from "Tristan und Isolde," and Paul Hindemith's "Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber."

Troy, director of the Phil's Educational Outreach programs led the orchestra with great clarity and energy. The ensemble performed exceedingly well under his baton, and with the exception of few rhythmically precarious moments (understandable, and easily forgivable, given the perilous challenges of this particular program), the group was remarkably unified in enthusiasm, direction of phrase and musical spirit.

Classics 2 opened with a refreshingly refined rendition of Giacomo Rossini's whimsical overture, performed with all the character and rousing energy associated with the early Italian Romantic. Troy's somewhat reserved interpretation resisted the common urge to caricaturize this overture in a zany cartoonish frenzy. Instead, the Phil surpassed the “opera buffa” stereotypes, emphasizing the elegance and wit of the musical rhetoric.

Closing the first half, world-renowned violinist Koh took the stage in a commanding, and viscerally emotional performance of Samuel Barber's "Violin Concerto." Well-known for her interpretations of contemporary music, Koh brought a bold freshness to the beloved neo-romantic masterpiece. With the raw intensity and wild abandon of a rock star, Koh poured her soul into this performance, painting an expansive and colorfully rich panorama of sound.

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