Man-Made and Natural Music Merge on a Steamy Sunday

Benjamin Beilman
The New York Times


On Saturday evening, Caramoor presented a more traditional event: a splendid concert by the festival’s resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s in the open-air Venetian Theater. The conductor Ludovic Morlot, departing next year as the music director of the thriving Seattle Symphony, began with a bracing account of Smetana’s “Dance of the Comedians.” Then Benjamin Beilman was the soloist in an exciting performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Playing with rich sound and plenty of brilliance, Mr. Beilman conveyed both dreamy lyricism and heated intensity.

The New York premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s “Evidence” revealed an elusive yet engrossing orchestral piece. The 20-minute work is layered with shape-shifting elements: droning low sonorities; restlessly oscillating figures; sonic masses that come in and out of focus; blocks of chords that heave and sway; and, in one surprising turn, a beguiling melodic episode that yearns to settle in but never quite does. For all the contrasts, the piece holds together with unfailing dramatic purpose.

The evening ended with a bold account of Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.”
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