Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beauty Is Truth...

Our maestro has hit a home run with his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, In Truth, at the Tennessee Theatre Thursday and last night. Pianist (and the work’s dedicatee) Jeffrey Beigel, in his fifth appearance with the KSO, gave a splendid performance of the work. A year and a half in the works, In Truth’s three movements represent expressions of truth as pertains to being true to one’s self, true to the world, and true to one’s spirit. The first movement is declamatory yet melodic, bringing to mind the pacing of Rachmaninov’s concerti. The middle movement uses asymmetric ostinati (repeated rhythmic figures) and some high-octane ragtime to bring its points across. The finale is patiently lyrical and in the end recalls the first movement’s themes to complete a circle of truth.

In Truth is approachable from both the musicians’ and the audience’s standpoints. Appearing on our stands just seven days ago, the music was challenging but intriguing. Only minor dynamic adjustments were necessary in rehearsals to create balanced voicings of Maestro Richman’s sonic dreams. The audience reactions both nights were enthusiastic and genuine. As the work is performed by more and more orchestras beyond the member groups in the consortium of orchestras that commissioned the work, it seems clear that In Truth will “get some legs,” (to quote the maestro), and easily find its way into the music folders of musicians and the ears of listeners.

I will never forget the look on Maestro Richman’s face at the end of the first movement on Thursday night. Words like joy, marvel and fulfillment all fall short of describing the glow on his face from having heard his efforts come to fruition. In the future I will think fondly back at these two nights, and that look of contented achievement will stay with me forever.

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