It was billed as “Superstar Strings,” and two superstars helped make Friday's Lincoln Symphony Orchestra concert a super success at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.
Pinchas Zukerman, longtime violin virtuoso, and Amanda Forsyth, who spent 16 years as principal cellist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, were guests with the orchestra.
First, conductor Ed Polochick led the orchestra in Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn, op. 56a.” In church hymnals, the tune is known as “St. Anthony.”
The “Variations” were beautifully presented as the orchestra moved and bent the tempo carefully. Each theme received a different setting. The Grand Finale sounded royally fit for a king and certainly for the crowd of 850.
Two Dvorak works showed off the soloists. “Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F minor, op. 11” was an old friend of Zukerman’s. He immersed himself in the work’s textures and began with an enticing approach to the lovely melody.
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It was Forsyth’s turn for the short Dvorak “Silent Woods” program piece. Forsyth, in a brilliant red-satin, floor-length gown, seemed to fit her playing into the ensemble like fingers in a glove. The whole ensemble granted “Silent Woods” an elegant rendering.
After intermission, it was soloist star time, with the Brahms” “Concerto for Violin and Violoncello in A Minor, op. 102.”
The two soloists worked extremely well together, sensing each other’s feelings about the phrases and solos. Zukerman monitored Polochick for cues and the many tempo changes in each movement.
The result was perfect balance, exact entrances and well-coordinated dynamics for the great double concerto. Excellence prevailed and the inside communications meant the entire work was balanced and nearly perfect.
Standing, cheering patrons got their wish for a short “intermezzo” encore with just the two soloists.