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The Triangle Youth Philharmonic, led by conductor Hugh Partridge, performed an excellent program in Meymandi Concert Hall, featuring several talented student soloists throughout. TYP is the most advanced of The Philharmonic Association's youth ensembles, so there was no shortage of talent. The concert began with the Allegro movement of Bach's Concerto for Oboe and Violin, played by a smaller string ensemble taken from the full orchestra. This concerto features several countermelodies, most significantly led by the oboe soloist, Emily Hodges. Aria Cheregosha, also the Concertmaster of the Philharmonic, performed the violin solo. These two soloists carried the light and buoyant texture of the concerto. Guest conductor Rashad Hayward communicated consistently with the ensemble and the soloists, creating a dynamic climax within each polyphonic phrase. Although the concerto was performed with a strict tempo, this rise and fall gave the piece a more flowing texture.
Perhaps the highlight of the concert was a set of selections from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. The possibly most well-known scène from the ballet's first act was performed beautifully, with the oboe playing the popular theme. Supporting this melody are suspenseful tremolos in the strings, along with harp arpeggios and a plucked bass. The dramatic tone of this piece was communicated very well, especially through a crescendo on the entrance of the brass section. The whimsical Valse that followed featured exceptional balance among and between the instrumental sections without any section's melody overpowering another. The next scène contained a captivating harp cadenza that was a delight to witness, followed by the grand and pompous mazurka. In this piece, there were huge dynamic shifts from the full orchestra to subito sections of melody in the flutes. These dramatic changes showcased the Philharmonic's dynamic talent and extreme attention to detail.
Most of the orchestra left the stage for Hindemith's Der Schwanendreher, leaving behind a small woodwind and brass section, several cellos and basses, and the timpani. Dominick Douglas, the principal viola of the orchestra, performed the solo of the first movement, Langsam. Douglas began the piece with the difficult technique of double stopping, playing a two-note harmony that sounded like two separate instruments at once. Overall, this piece was more abstract than the previous ones, featuring chromatic movement in chord progressions and melody. The talented soloist provided a kind of light to shine through the unpredictable and somewhat ominous orchestral sound.
The four movements of Symphony No. 5, Op. 47, by Dmitri Shostakovich completed the program. The first, Moderato, begins with alternating two-note phrases between the high and low string sections. Then, the violins incorporate a meandering lyric melody against the low strings' pattern. Throughout the movement, many different instruments are featured with the melody. A march-like section with prominent brass showcased the dynamic shaping ability of the orchestra. The Allegretto opens with a variation on the theme from the first movement, then continues with a playful and capricious waltz. In contrast, the Largo movement contains sweeping chords played by the strings. A quiet duet of harp and flute creates a passionate texture, followed by the melody in woodwinds against sustained string tremolos. The final movement, Allegro non troppo, begins with a strong percussion and brass entrance, creating a march-like texture. A stately rhythm and regal melody supported this march, which later dissolved into a solemn interlude. After a pause, the march theme reappears, bringing with it a triumphant fanfare thar concluded the concert.
The Triangle Youth Orchestra and Triangle Youth Symphony perform in the same venue starting at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. respectively on April 29. For details, click here.