It’s still very early in the year, but here’s betting that Saturday night’s concert by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra is going to make the annual “10 best” list.
Part of it is that violinist superstar Joshua Bell was in great form in the Bass Hall program, which was the annual symphony gala. But conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the orchestra were producing some striking sounds as well.
A large audience lapped it all up.
Bell was the soloist in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. It’s a fine piece and seemed all the finer in Bell’s superb interpretation. His unerring precision of pitch was amazing, as was his easy interpretive command of a work that contrasts musical drama with lyrical beauty.
Harth-Bedoya and the orchestra contributed their own musical wonders, and joined Bell in a lovely encore, the Meditation from Massenet’s opera Thaïs. For once, the Standing O’s were not only inevitable but justified.
The concert-opener was the overture to Verdi’s opera La forza del destino. This is Verdi in a near-Beethovenian mode, and Harth-Bedoya’s interpretation found plenty of drama as well as lyrical beauty. The orchestra was in fine form; especially appealing were the sounds produced by clarinetist Ana Victoria Luperi, oboist Jennifer Corning Lucio and flutist Jake Fridkis.
The concert-ender was the suite from Richard Strauss’ opera Der Rosenkavalier. This is a showpiece for orchestra and it made a powerful impression, beginning with glorious sounds from the Fort Worth horns and proceeding to eloquent thrills later.
By the way, the evening opened with the entire orchestra standing while a spokesman read a statement referring to the orchestra’s position in recent labor negotiations, including the musicians’ continuing to play in uncertain conditions.