• Music review: VSO showcases itself
    By Jim Lowe
     | December 03,2012

    BURLINGTON — “War horses” have no monopoly on great music. Anthony Princiotti led the Vermont Symphony Orchestra in three lesser-known works that proved to be masterpieces — and the audience concurred enthusiastically.

    The major work was Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6 in D Major, Opus 60, the composer’s first major international success. While not quite of the musical scope of his “New World” Symphony, the 40-minute work is full of lyrical beauty, passion and grandeur.

    Princiotti, the VSO’s principal guest conductor, led a riveting performance that underscored its lyrical qualities while enjoying its ever-changing color palette. Princiotti used a deft touch and the VSO played particularly cleanly, applying the requisite emotion of a truly rewarding performance.

    Most moving was the slow movement, Adagio. Princiotti and the VSO achieved a long lyrical line with amazing tenderness, the most difficult emotion to achieve in music. It was truly touching.

    Brilliant colors and rhythms permeated Sergei Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kijé” Suite from the film of the same name. Full of wit and satire, as well as wonderful sentiment, the five-movement work is a real showcase for the orchestra.

    Music like this is Princiotti’s forte. His precise approach, not without depth of feeling, and an excellent rhythmic understanding made Saturday’s performance a delight.

    Princiotti opened the program with Paul Hindemith’s driving Konzertmusik for Strings and Brass, Opus 50. The knotty but exciting work is a real showcase for the brass, and the VSO players delivered in spades, playing both brilliantly and passionately, and the strings matched them all the way.

    Ten years ago or so, the VSO couldn’t have delivered a showcase program like this anywhere near as successfully. It is a tribute to Music Director Jaime Laredo, Chorus Director Robert De Cormier and, of course, Princiotti, that the VSO is becoming one of the country’s most important regional orchestras.

    Vermont Symphony Orchestra

    The Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Robert De Cormier, will present the annual VSO Holiday Pops concerts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Barre Opera House, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Burlington’s Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, at Rutland’s Paramount Theatre. For tickets or information, call 800-VSO-9293 (876-9293), ext. 10, or go online to www.vso.org.

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