by Kevin McLaughlin
Accordionist Hanzhi Wang held the Church of the Covenant audience in thrall on March 4 as she demonstrated mastery of the wild marvel that is her instrument in a performance of Piazzolla’s Bandoneon Concerto. The BlueWater Chamber Orchestra and conductor Daniel Meyer provided able accompaniment there, as well as lovely accounts of works by Arriaga and Copland in this Latin-tinged program.
The Symphony in D by Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga, written in 1825 when the composer was just seventeen, is cast in the Haydn-Mozart mold. The performance revealed a deftly crafted work — exciting, tuneful, and blustery. After the Haydnesque slow introduction that prepares the listener for a D-major Allegro, the orchestra leaned into the unexpected d-minor with stormy energy and dynamic contrasts. Meyer kept fast tempos under control, battling acoustically challenging circumstances — distinctions of timbre and precision of attacks were frequently lost in the cavernous space.