Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra took to the Lied Center for Performing Arts stage Saturday night for two works, the Brahms “Violin Concerto in D major, Opus 77” with concertmaster Anton Miller, and the “Scottish” Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Opus 56, of Felix Mendelssohn.
Conductor Ed Polochick remarked that the multiple performances over the past week and a half may have taken its toll, especially for Miller, who would perform the difficult Brahms violin concerto.
The Brahms started out just fine with a forthright orchestra intro, and Miller was decisive on his opening attacks and phrasing and on through the intricate, advanced violin lead in movement one.
The second movement exuded beauty. Miller’s filigree and a glowing cadence made it worth hearing. An extended cadenza highlighted the final movement, and Miller’s execution of the double- and triple-stops in the piece were breathtaking. The crowd of about 1,000 thought so too, standing at work’s end with cheers and strong applause.
Mendelssohn’s “Symphony No. 3” is another war-horse that needs to be played right. The orchestra would need yet more energy for the “Scottish” symphony.
Ensemble flexibility was noted in the opening movement. A flowing current between musical thoughts was well understood. Cellos offered a lovely melody near the end. In movement two, a magical clarinet solo carried the early section, while precise staccato in the strings and winds were high marks of the second part.
The familiar Scottish tune in the third movement brought smiles to patrons' faces. But did these hard-working musicians have enough left in them for the vigorous dances in the final movement?
Well, they did! Again, precision and musicality marked the orchestra’s drive through the difficult movement. Those in the house stood and offered strong applause to mark the end of a busy week and a well-played orchestra concert.