Intriguing Performances by New Century Chamber Orchestra

New Century Chamber Orchestra-September 13, 2009-Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael, California

An old warhorse Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exibition was the signature work performed by the New Century Chamber Orchestra at Osher Marin JCC on Sunday Sept. 13. There are many versions of this colorful musical tour de force with different transcriptions to boot – the original piano version, the three orchestral versions (Ravel’s being most popular), guitar, string quartet and organ versions to name a few. The one chosen and played by the NCCO for string orchestra with piano and percussion, is perhaps the most dramatic and descriptive one. The NCCO brings out the pictures by Hartmann with vivid musical color. The ensemble performs each musical picture eloquently and truly elicits the intent of artist Hartmann’s paintings and the composer Mussorgsky’s musical depiction of them. Hopefully, the NCCO will record this performance. It was a musical journey not to be missed.

The works in the first half of the concert were the Bach Chaconne and the Bach Violin Concerto in D Minor performed impeccably by Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, NCCO’s new musical director and seasoned and well known international violin soloist. All in all, this concert was a highly rewarding musical experience for both the musical aficionado and novice.