by Daniel Hathaway
CityMusic Cleveland celebrated the beginning of its tenth season with the debut of its new music director, Avner Dorman, on Wednesday evening, October 23 at Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights. Dorman skillfully led the 40-piece chamber orchestra in nuanced and nearly flawless performances of his own Concerto Grosso, Vivaldi’s Concerto for two oboes and two clarinets, Schubert’s Symphony No. 3, and the first of five different Mozart concertos with guest violinist Rachel Barton Pine.
Dorman noted both in written and oral notes that he intended to show off the talents of members of the orchestra as much as possible in his first concert, and that principally meant the ensemble’s wind section, whose excellence runs both deep and wide. The Vivaldi concerto boasted pairs of soloists — oboists Rebecca Schweigert Mayhew and Daniel Rios and clarinetists Daniel Gilbert and Ellen Breakfield Glick — who matched each other’s elegant tone perfectly, yet each pair provided cheerful sonic contrasts as oboes tossed phrases off to clarinets. As always, Vivaldi was infinitely resourceful within his time-honored formulas, and he snuck in a strangely arresting rhythmic pattern at the beginning of the last Allegro. Harpsichordist Peter Bennett added stylish decorations to the keyboard accompaniment. [Read more…]