The Mountain Times

°F Thu, April 17, 2014

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Playing together

RUTLAND-Many members of the audience had just come off the Killington ski slopes for the late Sunday afternoon performance of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra at the Paramount Theater in Rutland. They entered a new world of coral walls with white gold trim. Slowly their voices changed and they shifted from talk of the day's activities to the expectations about the performers and concert ahead.

The Program began with three concertos for two violins and strings-pieces by J.S. Bach, Philip Glass and David Ludwig-played by Jamie Laredo, music director and Jennifer Koh, a former student. Each played a part and then shared the music producing a remarkable flowing sound. Koh, a world traveled virtuoso, was responsible for organizing this part of the program, including the financing.

25-year-old Vinay Parameswaran of Curtis Institute conducted the pieces and remarked that probably the Glass concerto was the hardest for him because it contained an 18-minute passage in which the music does not change.

Composer David Ludwig's "Season's Lost" reflected the four seasons and the damage of global warming. This piece was rewritten for this program. The music was powerful, especially the section on Winter. It was amazing to see a living composer who's interest in the music and in the orchestra's presentation was so apparent.

It was the last composition conducted by Laredo, the Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G Minor that brought the greatest applause. The audience showed appreciation for the Mozart piece and for the unusual and challenging program the Music Director had brought together.

I thought, while we were applauding, of those in the audience who support the VSO in many small ways and how they made this Sunday evenings possible. The audience still wrapped in the music poured out of the theater into the unexpected brightness of the daylight. VSO members and friends walked over to Three Tomatoes for a glass of wine and perhaps later a salad or plate of mussels and to re-live the evening all over again.