17 June 2019

Fine romances

It was NCO again and this was exciting. We were playing the world premiere (in full symphony orchestra format) of Mike Dooley's first piano concerto. I'd heard it before in a smaller format but this was the full thing, beautifully melodic and inviting and played so well by Andrew Rumsay. Mike gave an excellent pre-concert talk, talking of his preference for consonance, or at least resolution of dissonance, complex with examples on piano. The work had some complex counts, too. Mike joked that he had a coffee cup with a caption of difficult counts - 11/16 and a few others - and apparently that's what we played. I'd missed playing Sally Greenaway with NCO so I was glad I didn't miss this one. Andrew is a Kawai artist, and Kawai had shipped in a new 8' grand for the event. And after interval, one of my most difficult but favourite plays, Rach 2. Madly romantic, teeming with ideas that are combined with sudden crossovers, slow to rabid times. Great fun and sweepingly attractive. The third movement is famous as providing the theme for the pop hit, All by myself / Eric Carmen. So, a great program with Mike's alluring new piano concerto played by Andrew combined with the romantic bliss of Rachmaninov Symphony no.2. What a great afternoon and a satisfying challenge.

National Capital Orchestra performed Mike Dooley (composer) and Rachmaninov under Leonard Weiss (conductor) with Andrew Rumsey (piano) as soloist. BTW, the bottom end was Roger Grime and Eric Pozza (basses). National Capital Orchestra, Mike Dooley, Leonard Weiss, Andrew Rumsey

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