It was an all-Beethoven night for Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra at the Lied Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, featuring the great composer’s Fourth and Seventh Symphonies.
“Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Opus 60” turned out OK, but wasn’t quite up to the great quality we’ve heard from the orchestra this year. Agreement on pitches and where the conductor’s beat came down were the main issues in movement 1.
Movement two, the adagio, was an improvement, with players exhibiting better control and a good understanding of the movement’s dynamics. Solo passages from principal players were exemplary and perfect.
The familiar phrases and tunes in movement three brought smiles to patrons' faces. By the time the fourth movement was simmering, violins and winds got on the fast track with precision notes. Heavy applause came at the piece’s end.
“Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92” got off to an excellent start. Perhaps a pep talk at intermission boosted confidence within the ensemble, as it was a much different orchestra in this half.
Cohesiveness and great solos marked the opening movement. The brass led the togetherness in perfect balance with the ensemble.
It seemed all 1,000 patrons knew the second movement by heart. Some appeared to be humming along. The orchestra seemed to sense the audience’s affections and obliged the mood with confidence. Elegant work from the lower strings produced ravishing results.
Movement three galloped at about the speed of the Kentucky Derby. Once again conductor Ed Polochick maintained a tight baton over the ensemble. Precision, led by convincing horns, marked the way for enamored patrons.
By the end of the zooming movement four, all the goods had been sold throughout the house. Convincing strings and horns played to perfection and the audience stood immediately at the symphony’s end with yells, whistles and plenty of applause.
The last symphony redeemed the evening for the orchestra, but patrons were inspired all night long and left the Lied Center with lively, positive comments about the night’s music.