A happy crowd of 1,000 witnessed Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra put on quite a show at the Lied Center for Performing Arts Saturday.
Israeli-born mandolinist Avi Avital played “Spring” and “Winter” from the Antonio Vivaldi “Four Seasons” and contemporary composer Avner Dorman’s “Mandolin Concerto.” Following intermission, the orchestra performed the Beethoven “Eroica” Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major.
It was interesting to hear the Vivaldi concerto performed on mandolin instead of the customary violin. Avital has the technique mastered, exhibits exuberance and an optimistic cast on his playing, and is little short of awesome.
Even more intriguing was the Dorman concerto, which Avital premiered ten years ago. Jazz, pop and rock elements can be traced in the three-movement work.
It was easy to see that Avital loved this piece and the orchestra loved playing it with him. Cheers and whistles urged Avital to do a solo encore, which he described as a “Hungarian folk song I picked up from a man playing accordion on the street.”
The orchestra continued its exuberance for Beethoven’s famous symphony. Confidence infused the initial movement with extra energy. The scherzo was precise and did not lack for speed, and the finale was a flashy display of solos by many of the orchestra’s first chair players.
A cheering crowd kept it up in waves as conductor Ed Polochick saluted sections and soloists. French Horns got perhaps the biggest roar. It was a great conclusion for a most successful Symphony season.