Lost at Sea at Bard

The Millbrook Independent

“Leon Botstein opened The Orchestra Now with “Four Sea Interludes” from Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes. These evocative mood pieces produced radiant, seascape vistas. The audience rode the swells, being transported to another magical world that defied explanation. Music caressed and bewitched our ears. We were transported to the Land of Lotus Eaters and had no desire to return home.

. . . Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations is a peculiar masterpiece. Listening to recordings remains interesting, but a live performance (as music goers know) is something entirely else. Here Leon Botstein delivered the shimmering intensity that the piece invites with its adroit orchestration. I particularly enjoyed the modest and melodic horns that Botstein tamed and molded into the texture of the whole cloth. There was a nice small clarinet moment. Elgar’s marvel invites repeated listening for its enigmatic portraits of people depicted in mischievous epyllion format. Here is rarefied insular genius evoking wit, character, and genial pleasure. What a pleasant way to conclude a concert!” – Kevin T. McEneaney

Photo by Matt Dine