It was a significant concert for Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra Friday.
Not only did the celebrated pianist Simone Dinnerstein return for another visit with the orchestra, but the world premiere of the Philip Glass “Piano Concerto No. 3” was a winning collaboration.
First, Dinnerstein paraded-out Bach’s “Keyboard Concerto No. 7 in G Minor, BWV 1058,” from the pianist whose “Goldberg Variations” won Grammy awards in her very first recordings. Clear articulation made for an impeccable Concerto.
Several orchestras commissioned the Glass work. Those orchestras are introducing the piece this concert season. Glass wrote the score specifically for Dinnerstein and a small orchestra.
The concerto is a great example of minimalist style. What is so treasured about Glass compositions is the accessibility and notable melody lines.
The line flows through the first movement as minute changes in the phrase structures intrigue the ear. It isn’t especially difficult music for the orchestra, but it does require constant attention to the changes and to ensemble balance and unity.
In the second movement the piano has a role of continuous prominence amid continuously rolling chords from the strings. It was here that Dinnerstein appeared to be a real joy for the orchestra to accompany. Patrons loved the work and offered bravos over the standing ovation. Dinnerstein was visibly pleased.
Good execution by the orchestra made chord structures pleasant to hear. The work almost sounds like movie music.
Sir Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations, Opus 24” topped-off the concert. It’s a perennial crowd-pleaser. Problem with crowd-pleasers is, the orchestra must play it perfectly or the audience finds the slip-ups. No slip-ups, the central “Nimrod” quiet variation was enthusiastically digested by patrons, and again the crowd saluted the ensemble with a standing ovation.