Classical music reviewer Timothy Gaylard praised concertmaster Akemi Takayama as the consistent highlight of RSO’s sold out performance Sunday. Did you go? Do you agree with Gaylard’s review? Let me know in the comments.
Roanoke Symphony celebrates strings
By Timothy Gaylard
Altogether, it was a celebration of the great string section of the symphony and of the baroque and classical periods. Wiley presided over some of the afternoon as a basso continuo player at the harpsichord.
The concert began with the popular Pachelbel “Canon in D.”Here the streamlined orchestra gave a transparent and expressive account, well-shaped and moving inexorably forward to a satisfying end.
This was followed by the lesser-known “Battaglia” of the baroque composer Heinrich Biber. The ensemble reveled in the humor and surprisingly modern techniques and effects required by the composer. At one point, the polytonal effects caused Wiley and several players to look questioningly at the scores in front of them, sparking some spontaneous laughter from the audience.
Takayama then played ravishingly as violin soloist in Beethoven’s Romance No. 1 in G. From her opening unaccompanied theme to the quiet conclusion, she displayed a thorough command of her instrument and a complete understanding of the elegance in Beethoven’s early period classical style.