Encore asked of Beethoven Orchestra Bonn
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 23:03
The Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, accompanied by internationally renowned and acclaimed French Canadian pianist Louis Lortie, delivered two full concertos to an audience at Jorgensen Thursday night.
“I haven’t seen many shows with piano soloists, he’s very good accompaniment,” said Kelly Esianor, a 4th-semester finance major and usher at Jorgensen, who was impressed by Lortie’s performance. “I really enjoy the techniques he uses like his punctuated staccato.”
Hailing from the hometown of the composer that the group lends its name to, the 100-year-old leading German Orchestra has become a key pillar of cultural life in Bonn and the surrounding region through its concerts, operas, music classes for adults and children, CD recordings as well as domestic and international tours. The 106-piece orchestra has won numerous awards, performed in the world’s greatest concert halls and regularly works with renowned soloists, conductors and choirs.
At Jorgensen on Thursday night, to accommodate all of the musicians on stage, the bare walls of the auditorium were seen instead of the curtains that usually add a background to the stage. Concert master and first violinist Mikhail Ovrutsky stepped on stage in front of the seated orchestra, earning the initial applause from the audience as he led the group in tuning their instruments. Music Director Stefan Blunier and Lortie walked out together, bowing at each other and the audience before taking their respectful places on stage.
Lortie began the night with dramatic piano scales that followed the length of the keyboard as outbursts from the full orchestra added emphasis throughout Piano Concerto No. 5, also known as the Emperor Concerto. There were a wide variety of tempos, tones and melodies in the concerto’s entirety, including tense, fast paced sections and ominous low-pitched ones.
After a few bows from the director, pianist and orchestra, the first half of the show ended followed by a brief intermission. The show kicked up again, this time without the accompaniment of Lortie, with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major scale. The concerto had other techniques used in it, like musical responses where one instrument would evoke responses from a section of instruments, plucking of strings mostly used by bassists and cellists, but occasionally by the violinists and violists too, and heavy flute accompaniment. Blunier was seen shaking his body and jumping forward on his platform with the movement of the music.
When the piece concluded, Blunier came back out after his bows to point out each section of instrumentalists, encouraging applause and acknowledgement from the crowd. Responding to the audience’s standing ovation, Blunier led the group in an encore performance to a slow and soft Beethoven tune.