Concerto Concert Weaves a Spell

By Joan Pritchard

Saturday, March The chapel at Trinity College provided just the right warmth and ambience to sustain an exquisite performance of Handel, Albinoni, Dubois and Poulenc played by organ soloist Ezequiel Menéndez and an 18 piece professional orchestra conducted by Adrian Sylveen. Ezequiel deftly extracted colors, subtleties and heft from the Austin organ without overpower- ing the ensemble. Handel’s Concerto in F joyfully danced while the Adagio in G Minor by Albinoni, played at a glacial pace, exuded passionate drama in every phrase. Who knew that a baroque piece could be so romantic?

Natasha Ulyanovsky, who was2c18884c4984ab0d3867b2d625c2e25e
scheduled to play a Rheinberger
concerto, was unable to perform
due to illness. In her place, Eze-
quiel programmed two pieces by
Dubois – Méditation Prière and
Ave Maria — that included a violin
solo, a soprano solo and a piano
part along with the organ and
ensemble. It was an opportunity
to hear sacred music in an instru-
mentation that one is not likely to
encounter very often in church or
in the concert hall. Though Dubois can sound syrupy, it was at its best in the chapel acoustics. The finale – the Poulenc Concerto — exhibited its usual roar and rhythm. Both the ensemble and the organist were up to the task of rousing the audience with a dramatic finish.

An attentive crowd enjoyed the concert. Many thanks go to Adrian Sylveen for pulling the orchestra together with few rehearsals, the chapter board for negotiating all the logistics, and especially to John Rose and the Trinity College Concert Series for co-sponsoring this event. It was enormously successful and we hope that perhaps another such concert will take place in the future.