by Daniel Hathaway
Rebounding with vigor on January 5 from its loaded holiday schedule while other ensembles were still in recovery mode, The Cleveland Orchestra gave a thoroughly enjoyable concert of completely unrelated works, including a new concerto by James Oliverio featuring principal timpani Paul Yancich, and not-so-often performed symphonies by Joseph Haydn and Carl Nielsen.
Presiding over this interesting stew like an adventurous chef, guest conductor Alan Gilbert threw in a surprising ingredient or two that the smallish audience of 800 lapped up as if hungry for something both piquant and nourishing after a diet of Noëls.
The Mandel Hall stage was full of drums — the normal number at the back of the orchestra, plus seven more set in a tight circle where the first violins usually hold forth — for the opening work, Oliverio’s Legacy Ascendant, Concerto for Timpani and Strings, commissioned by The Cleveland Orchestra. [Read more…]