Wu had stated earlier that Maurice Ravel was one of her especially favorite composers, and her performance of Miroirs (Mirrors) was a model of contrasts from the night-flying insects of Noctuelles to the most familiar of the pieces, Alborada del gracioso , a piece that Ravel orchestrated. Her technique gave her full musical control in her performance of this work.
She closed the concert with Liszt's transcription of the waltzes from the Kermesse scene from Faust by Charles Gounod. The contrast in this rather overblown work is between the waltzes sung by the chorus and the meeting between Marguerite and Faust. The propulsive drive of the waltzes stood in sharp contrast to the lyricism of the dialogue between the two principles. It was a brilliant performance musically and technically.
On Saturday evening, Wu played the piano Concerto no. 2, op. 19 with The Burlington Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Michael Hopkins. The concerto was performed by the soloist and the ensemble with attention to detail, a dialogue that really reflected the views of both participants (counting the orchestra as a single entity). The adagio movement was a model of bel canto, a beautiful and sensitive lyrical playing of long connected line that the soloist spun seemingly endlessly. The angularity of the third movement was delightful: sharp, well-drawn and propulsive. The first movement too and plenty of brio. The performance was a wonderful example of reciprocal dialoguing, where statement and answer are coherent and the music rolls along happily.
Thank heavens for the Piano Consortium whose members make it possible for us to be able to hear artists of the stature of Di Wu.
The chamber orchestra showed their expertise in the Concerto Grosso Opus 6, no. 10. Their playing especially of the third allegro movement was exemplary. They also played one of Mendelssohn's youthful string symphonies.
Thank heavens for the BCO. Now in their third year, they are once again proving to be a formidable group of musicians and thank heavens for those community members who support them financially. We are in its debt.
Burlington resident Dan Wolfe observes and critiques the local arts scene for The Eagle. His column appears weekly.