Sunday, May 1, my son (a wounded warrior himself) treated me to an early Mothers Day present by taking me to a concert with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra. The concert consisted of two colossal works of Ludwig van Beethoven, the Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 and Beethovens Symphony No. 7.
It was a rare delight to meet and see the dashing, passionate, and talented musical director Emil de Cou.
Maestro de Cou established a broad canvas for the opening with noted violinist Ms. Elizabeth Adkins playing half steps and soft diminuendo. The two proceeded to the mingled measures in bright alternatively, stately and lyrical sounds that would certainly have delighted Beethoven.
Maestro de Cou affectionately and passionately realized the cadenzas of each work and brought it forth to new heights. His luscious tone and fluent style carried the first movement by leaps and bounds ultimately having the orchestra break out into energetic waves of exquisitely balanced sounds. Applause erupted after the first movement. The volcanic Rondo of the string section with its repetition gained both momentum and spirit under the masterful baton of Maestro de Cou, and showed the skill and technique that de Cou instills in the slow movements which complimented the virtuosity of this work.
After a brief intermission, the audience was treated to Beethovens Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92. Maestro de Cou elicited a vital response from his ensemble, particularly the rhythmic energy of the score. While the mid-range strings and woodwinds projected themselves with admirable clarity, the brass and oboe produced an extremely warm texture.
The directness of the last movement and the repetition of the cadences became mesmerizing, until the cumulative momentum swept the audience along to the spirit that elicited beauty and power all at once.
I must applaud the Virginia Chamber Orchestra with its outstanding musicians and all involved in creating this musical tribute for our wounded warriors to share with their families. It was a privilege to have attended this concert with so many who have sacrificed so much for our country.
Although this concert was not recorded I have included a clip of Maestro de Cou conducting Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
Carmen Ileana Romn writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.