It may have taken them 35 years to get there but last night the Columbia Orchestra had its first sellout performance at the 747 seat Rouse Theatre. They rocked the full house with a powerful performance of one of my all time favorite pieces,Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1. I can’t recall where or when I first heard it but it soon became a favorite. I've always been a fan of big piano music and Concerto No. 1 is big piano music. Last night Anne Kosclieny tore up the keys of a twelve foot concert grand as conductor Jason Love whipped the orchestra through its paces.
We almost missed it. Earlier in the week I had noted that the orchestra was a having a concert on Saturday night. We considered it a Saturday night option. I really didn't think it would be necessary to purchase tickets in advance.
I was wrong. We were lucky to snag the last two seats together and only because someone turned them back in.
Is it just us or does anyone else find the seats in Rouse to be a little tight?
Last Tuesday, as I was heading back to my office, I heard this story on All Things Considered, by Shankar Vedantam, about whether orchestras really need conductors
“They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?”
It’s a great story. The bottom line is that they have now scientifically concluded that a conductor, particularly a good conductor, makes the music better.
Jason Love is a good conductor. They've even made a bobble head of him.
To cap the evening off the orchestra treated their record audience with Sleigh Bells.