Friday, March 30, 2012

Perlman and Philharmonic deliver historic performance

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM

If there's one foolproof way to measure an orchestra's quality and potential, it's to put the musicians onstage with Itzhak Perlman and watch how they rise to the occasion. And in the case of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic under the direction of Josep Caballé-Domenech, there was no question during last night's performance of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto that the orchestra was well-suited to the task of accompanying a legend.

Not surprisingly, the celebrated violinist delivered a profoundly expressive performance of this technically rigorous concerto, making it sound as fresh as it is familiar. But Caballé-Domenech and the orchestra were right there with him, bringing out the work's sublime textures and tonalities in a way that made the master's soloing that much more awe-inspiring. At evening's end, Perlman — whose childhood polio has long required him to use crutches and leg braces — returned to the stage twice in response to the sold-out Pikes Peak Center audience's continuing applause.

Back in March of last year, when Philharmonic President Nathan Newbrough announced that Perlman would be the 2011-12 season's special guest, the orchestra had presented the violinist with a short list of suggested repertoire, including concerti by Bruch, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

"For an artist of that caliber, we count on him to make the final determination," Newbrough told the Indy at the time. "Personally I'd love to hear him do the Tchaikovsky violin concerto."

Newbrough saw one of his wishes come true last night, as did an arts community that continues to achieve more than most cities this size could hope for.

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