May 30, 2011
Generally speaking, it's more likely you'll find me at The Rooster's Wife on a Sunday evening, soaking in the sounds of American roots music, than at a symphony concert any day of the week. Like any music, classical has its various threads and styles, some of which are pleasing and some of which you have to grow to love. But look for an opportunity to go and hear the Carolina Philharmonic, led by David Michael Wolff. You will be surprised by the exceptional talent Wolff has brought together in this local orchestra.
Lani and I took our neighbor, Jane Kent, to see their performance of "Forever Four Seasons - Vivaldi Meets Piazzolla" on Saturday, and came away highly impressed with the performance. I'm no critic, I know what I like and why, but don't have the credentials to tell you about the music. But I really liked this concert, liked everything about it - the feel, the energy, the passion, and the extraordinary talent. I liked the juxtaposition of Vivaldi's interpretation of the seasons against Astor Piazzolla's warmer, Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. (What a wonderful surprise!)
Vivaldi's Four Seasons is the first piece of music I ever remember hearing. Every day in the first grade, our teacher, Mrs. Doby, played classical music while we had "nap time". I guess she knew first graders don't really go to sleep, so it was her way of adding a little extra education in the process. Anyway, one day Mrs. Doby put a record of Leonard Bernstein conducting the NY Phillies playing Four Seasons, and something happened. I couldn't keep my head on the desk. My imagination ran wild when I closed my eyes, just like it did on Saturday. I remember that moment like it was yesterday.
So, I've always loved Vivaldi's music, and that's why we went on Saturday. But that's not why we'll go back. We'll go back because Mr. Wolff has put together something that is way better than you expect for a local, small town orchestra. The talent is there, the leadership is there, and the results are there.
Maestro Wolff has big plans for his Carolina Philharmonic and the musical education and training center he started, called Conservatory International. We're lucky to have them both. You can be sure they'll make an impact in the quality of life here. Bravo! Encore!