On Saturday evening, November 18, 2017, the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro James Domine, opened the concert with Alexander Borodin's Polovetsian Dances from "Prince Igor." This hauntingly beautiful work was familiar to most of the audience, especially because of the familiar tune that was used from it and became the big hit, "Stranger in Paradise," in the 1950s. They applauded heartily at its conclusion.
The next offering was Scenes and Dances from "El Sombrero de Tres Picos" (The Three-Cornered Hat) by Manuel De Falla. This Spanish national tale is about how a miller and his wife got the better of the governor, with a good deal of social commentary, and some humor. There is a skillful blend of Spanish music and Russian choreography in the reproduction. The symphonic version, of course, does not include dance, but the music by itself is a delight to hear. The audience showed their appreciation at the end of the piece.
After intermission, the audience returned to hear the piece de resistance, the "Concerto for Violin and Violoncello with Orchestra," (Double Concerto) by Johannes Brahms. The audience sat in awe at the playing of 'cellist Jacob Braun and violinist Lisa Liu. This writer quotes a critic who wrote that.,"This concerto has "vast and sweeping humour" but has always been, " ... hampered by its requirement for two brilliant and equally matched soloists." Happily, last evening we most definitely saw two brilliant and equally matched soloists!! The audience stood, cheered, and applauded their outstanding performances, as well as that of the Orchestra. Maestro Domine was, as always, at his best!