The opening Copland had an energetic crispness that flowed unceasingly throughout the evening from Princiotti, in which the orchestra reflected back and made for an exciting, clear and refreshing performance.
The Gershwin, orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett -- Gershwin was learning to orchestrate and had actually done one orchestration before he died so untimely -- was given a very coherent reading, one which highlighted the songs that make up the symphonic picture, a sort of elongated overture. Once again, the orchestra responded perfectly to Princiotti's indications.
The Bartok is not easy listening, even though it was premiered in 1945. However, the orchestra, once again responded to the indicators that Princiotti gave to them and turned in a spectacular performance of the work.worth responding Individual players in the individual sections of the orchestra deserved every recognition that was given to them by Princiotti and seconded by the audience. It was a splendid achievement, establishing a high-water mark that will be difficult to surpass, and not necessarily easy to parallel. Thematic material came through with great clarity, thus simplifying the task of the audience to join with the orchestra in understanding what Bartok was saying in this significant and beautiful composition. To achieve this goal of communicating Bartok's ideas, Princiotti was what the Roman might have called 'primus inter pares' or 'first among equals'...and he was genuinely pleased with the entire evening of music and the instrumentalists, the orchestra, played so well under his guidance.
Don't forget, if you're looking for Christmas presents or holiday gifts in general, the VSO (as well as other musical local organizations) has some recordings available for purchase. Keep this in mind as you make your lists. For certain, the money will go directly to local organizations, and you will be able to enjoy the impact directly.