A recent photo of Leonard Slatkin, at Radio WCLV, Cleveland, recording a conversational piece related to this concert

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Severance Music Center, 11001 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio

This livestream only came to me with the concluding measures of the Fledermaus Overture, “student artist” Jake Taniguchi driving the music infectiously, played with disciplined brilliance. The rest of the concert was Leonard Slatkin’s. Cindy McTee’s close-on twenty-minute Double Play (2010) divides into two sections – ‘The Unquestioned Answer’ (twisting Charles Ives’s title) is solitary, mysterious and pained, linked to ‘Tempus Fugit’ via a percussion riff, woodblocks ticking off the seconds, the movement itself flying, like time, with plenty of incident and seemingly to the abyss and in a way that the late Christopher Rouse would have put his name to. Student orchestra? Yes, with playing that would pass for The Cleveland Orchestra in its Severance home. Jazmin Pascual, a CIM undergraduate, was soloist in Aaron Copland’s Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra (with harp and piano), 1948, for Benny Goodman. Pascual was eloquent in the bittersweet/heartfelt first movement, jazzed things up in the cadenza, and took this mood into the lively and diverse second movement, which she played with virtuosity and without inhibition. Throughout, she could not have wished for a better accompaniment. Finally the Dvořák Symphony that is ‘From the New World’, an old friend revitalised in this performance – caring/sharing, energised, shapely (not least the cor anglais/English horn solo in the Largo), atmospheric, exuberant, confiding, fiery, cumulative – again with playing of a very high standard, whatever the demands. First-movement repeat observed.

https://livefromorchestrahall.vhx.tv/videos/cindy-mctee-double-playDouble Play; DSO/Slatkin; June 6, 2017