On the evening of Saturday, December 12th, the superb musicians of the Chamber Orchestra of New York performed their exciting inaugural concert of the season at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (881 7th Ave) under the expert direction of Salvatore Di Vittorio. On the basis of this appearance, my first time hearing this ensemble, I can say that these players can rival that of any other young professionals orchestra I’ve heard.
The delightful program open with an accomplished account of George Gershwin’s lovely Lullaby, originally scored for string quartet, with a melody derived from an aria in the composer’s first opera, Blue Monday. This was followed by a sterling performance of the world premiere of the impressive Three Variations on a Gregorian Theme by the promising Emiliano Imondi, this year’s winner of the Respighi Prize. The first half of the evening closed with a marvelous rendition of the Peter Tchaikovsky masterpiece, the unutterably beautiful Serenade for strings — the high-point of the program.
The extraordinary second half of the concert featured an excellent version of Dmitri Shostakovich’s wonderful first Piano Concerto, scored for strings and solo trumpet — ably played here by Thomas Boulton. The brilliant piano soloist, Di Wu, gave a triumphant performance and concluded an immensely pleasurable evening with a dazzling encore, a virtuosic arrangement of Gershwin’s classic song, “I Got Rhythm”.