Dahl and Gavin would switch chairs throughout the show as their roles in the various rooms changed. Each change was accompanied by a cheerful exchange of smiles between the players, the kind of banter that underscored the lush sonic interaction between them. It is this cohesion that made them particularly adept at capturing the light-hearted fantasy that is a staple of much of Mozart’s work and the Serenade in particular.
The second piece of the afternoon, ‘Contrafacta Hungarica’ by renowned Hungarian composer Ferenc Farkas, continued the afternoon’s apparent theme of cheerful and lively music with a six-part work based on medieval dances and the Renaissance. It was an enjoyable piece, but most captivating was Ambrose’s direction. He’s almost animalistic in his articulations – given a sort of primal flourish that could easily be mistaken for interpretive dance. This eccentricity goes hand in hand with a precise articulation of the rhythm.
The result is a tight overall order that still provides plenty of room for players to move and move comfortably. The effect was strong throughout the three pieces he would conduct, but particularly powerful in the celebration of dance music by ‘Contrafacta Hungarica’.
guest conductor Ellie Anderson directed “The Death of Pierrot” by Fredrik Söderberg. The piece was composed in 2000 and is intensely modern in tone, with wildly crazy melodies and wide interval leaps reminiscent of Danny Elfman’s manic style. Yet music never succumbs to the trap that befalls so many modern classical works: the abandonment of melody in favor of mindless harmonic experimentation.
Like Ambrose before her, Anderson’s conducting style was as captivating as the reaction it elicited from musicians. She is meticulous in her sculpting of each note and shows particular craftsmanship in the way she articulates sustained notes, bringing out dynamic subtleties that less skilled conductors would miss. Currently completing her master’s degree in wind orchestral conducting at Georgia State University, Anderson is a promising newcomer to the world of orchestral conducting and is already developing a signature style that will make her a gift for ensembles for young people. years to come.
Ambrose returned to close the afternoon with Antonin Dvořák’s Slavic Dance No. 8 and No. 15, a thoroughly optimistic conclusion. The Atlanta Chamber Winds are an intoxicating ensemble, worth celebrating alongside the string quartets and piano combos that populate the Atlanta chamber music scene.
Jordan Owen began writing about music professionally at age 16 in Oxford, Mississippi. A 2006 graduate of Berklee College of Music, he is a professional guitarist, bandleader and composer. He is currently the lead guitarist for jazz band Other Strangers, power metal band Axis of Empires and melodic death/thrash metal band Century Spawn.
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ArtsATL (www.artsatl.org), is a non-profit organization that plays a vital role in educating and informing the public about the arts and culture of the metro Atlanta area. Founded in 2009, ArtsATL’s goal is to help build a sustainable arts community contributing to the economic and cultural health of the city.
If you have any questions about this or other partnerships, please contact Senior Director of Partnerships Nicole Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.