La belle Hélène at Pocket Opera
Martha Argerich at SFS

NCCO plays Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky

Annemarie-mcdermott * Notes *
New Century Chamber Orchestra gave a series of performances featuring Russian composers. The first half of the evening began with Prokofiev's Visions Fugitives, with soloist Anne-Marie McDermott at the piano. The brief piano pieces were rather romantic and impressionistic, the string orchestra arrangement by Rudolf Barshai worked well. McDermott launched directly into Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, with trumpet player Adam Luftman accompanying her along with NCCO. The Shostakovich was markedly more amusing than the Prokofiev. Both McDermott and Luftman played cleanly.
The second half consisted entirely of Souvenir de Florence from Tchaikovsky. The piece was thoroughly enjoyable, the strong rhythmic patterns certainly held the attention.

* Tattling * 
There was some whispering, and far too much applause between the movements of the last piece. The motor patterns of NCCO's music director, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, are rather unusual, even a bit disquieting. One is impressed she can produce such sounds from her violin using the particular motions she does.