Soloist Fleischman sparks Orchestra Miami program

By Lawrence Budmen

Violist Richard Fleischman performed music of Telemann and Bruch with Orchestra Miami Friday night in PInecrest Gardens.

Violist Richard Fleischman performed music of Telemann and Bruch with Orchestra Miami Friday night in Pinecrest Gardens.

Despite chilly temperatures, a sizable audience wearing heavy jackets and over wraps converged on the Banyon Bowl at Pinecrest Gardens Friday night for a free concert by Orchestra Miami under Elaine Rinaldi. Strongly projected Beethoven bookended the evening; the viola–that most neglected of string instruments–was the featured attraction in the expert hands of Richard Fleischman.

The outdoor venue proved to be surprisingly fine acoustically. Orchestral sound was full, clear and well defined. The string tone had plenty of resonance, particularly Fleischman’s viola. A Juilliard and Curtis graduate whose teachers included William Lincer, Joseph De Pasquale and Felix Galimir, Fleischman is a veteran chamber and orchestral musician who has played in many local and international ensembles.

Dating from the second decade of the 17th century, Telemann’s Viola Concerto in G Major is the first known concerto for the instrument and it is a charmer. Replete with melodic writing that is both eloquent and vivacious, the score is a fine display of the instrumentalist’s technique and musicality and Fleischman made the most of it. 

In the opening Largo, his aristocratic phrasing suggested a hint of sadness beneath the music’s stately Baroque pulsations. The ensuing Allegro was taken at a crisp pace, Fleischman conveying the instrumental slurs and echo effects with agile skill and aplomb. He shaped the plaintive melody of the Andante with great simplicity while maintaining precise intonation on the upper strings. The final Presto emerged bright and fleet under Fleischman’s skilled fingering. Jared Peroune’s electronic keyboard did admirable service simulating the sound of a harpsichord and the orchestral strings’ sonority enveloped and supported Fleischman adroitly.

Unlike the Telemann which violists have long embraced among the limited solo repertoire for the instrument, Max Bruch’s Romanze is a rarity. Written late in Bruch’s life in 1911, the nine-minute work reflects the composer clinging to romanticism despite the modernist contemporaneous sounds of Schoenberg and Stravinsky. 

Taken on its own terms, the score is beautiful with a flow of lustrous melody reminiscent of the slow movement of his familiar Violin Concerto No. 1. Fleischman’s sizable tone and sure pacing did not linger over the romantic strokes, maintaining the music’s forward path and fluidity. Rinaldi and the orchestral offered aptly contoured support. Gabriel Beavers’ bassoon solo and the clear timpani lines were especially well delineated with the soft dynamics of the closing section nicely detailed.

Elaine Rinaldi conducted Orchestra Miami Sunday afternoon in Miami Beach.

Elaine Rinaldi

The opening chords of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, which commenced the concert, were emphatically punctuated while the lyrical secondary theme was phrased in a more spacious manner. Rinaldi’s taut reading captured much of the overture’s drama and heroic force.

The Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major is one of Beethoven’s sunniest essays, forming an interlude between the storm tossed Eroica and Fifth symphonies. 

The lines of the ensemble’s individual sections emerged clearly in the mysterious introductory Adagio. Rinaldi took the Allegro vivace at a brisk clip but engendered a fine sense of contrast in the subsidiary subjects. The noble melody of the Adagio had a natural flow and Rinaldi kept the pulse stable through the theme’s curves and permutations.

Aside from one horn slip, brass and winds were well balanced and integrated into the orchestral fabric. The strings’ unanimity and fullness of tone proved impressive. Rinaldi infused plenty of life into the Scherzo which was lively without turning rushed or frenzied. Opera buffa verve held sway in the high-energy finale.

Orchestra Miami repeats the free program 8 p.m. Saturday at the North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Due to forecasts of inclement weather, the 6 p.m. Sunday performance has been moved indoors to Edelcup K-8 School, 201 182nd Drive, Sunny Isles Beach.

Posted in Performances

2 Responses to “Soloist Fleischman sparks Orchestra Miami program”

  1. Posted Mar 11, 2018 at 1:38 am by Philip Lakofsky

    Elaine has always highlighted our local talent. I appreciate her own talent and her efforts. The bottom line being that she has a really good heart.

  2. Posted Mar 11, 2018 at 6:35 pm by Daniel Greenberg

    A pleasure to read your enlightening review of Friday’s concert. Nancy and I shared your enthusiasm for what we heard.

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Sat Mar 10, 2018
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