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Posted on Sun, Oct 18, 2009 : 12:53 a.m.

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra features strings with elegance

By Laurel Firant

The strings were in the spotlight as the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra performed to a large following at the Michigan Theater Saturday evening.


Arie Lipsky, left, with guest cellist David Requiro.

photo courtesy of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

The concert opened with Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis." In an instructive gesture at the onset of the concert, the Vocal Arts Ensemble sang the Tallis hymn featured in the composition. When the orchestra began, I was immediately struck by the beautiful balance of the ensemble.

Under the direction of Arie Lipsky, the orchestra met the challenge of the work with refined elegance. They mastered the restrained drama of the antiphony between the separate ensembles in the composition. The quartet was played with refreshing clarity by the principal players, and the orchestra flourished in the rich harmonic passages. The performance delivered an emotional punch, and was the most memorable work of the evening.


David Requiro plays with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra on Saturday.

photo courtesy of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

Cellist David Requiro joined the orchestra as soloist in a lyrical performance of Franz Joseph Haydn's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in D Major, Hob. VIIb:2. A recent University of Michigan graduate, Requiro is a musically expressive player and particularly shone in the first movement's (unaccompanied) cadenza.

A mature delivery of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48 rounded out the program, with the orchestra especially finding its wings in the sonorous lines of the Elegie and in the musical cross-currents of the Finale.

The audience responded with cheers and a standing ovation for this fine regional orchestra. They were treated to an encore of the Valse from the Tchaikovsky, ending the concert with one of the composer's most memorable melodies.

David Requiro talks about Saturday's concert and his time in Ann Arbor: