“Hear It First,” the theme for the Lexington Philharmonic’s 2016-17 season, is a challenge and an invitation to music lovers.
Opening night did not disappoint. The program commenced with “Rapture” by contemporary composer Christopher Rouse. The orchestra impressively delivered on the composer’s intended emotional turmoil and euphoric exaltation through its repetitive, dissonant and euphonious movement from darkness into light. The challenge with a work like this is to listen with an open mind.
Next, Bluegrass native Tessa Lark made her debut appearance with the LPO with her remarkable rendition and astonishing technical skill in performing Samuel Barber’s “Violin Concerto Op. 14.” Lark’s marathon “fiddling” in the last movement commanded a standing ovation and an encore. Her pensive yet playful “Appalachia Fantasy” tugged at our heartstrings as she honored her return to her Kentucky home.
After intermission, Tchaikovsky’s grandiose “Symphony No. 5” filled the hall with its haunting and moody melodies. Terrell’s fresh interpretation of this orchestral stalwart coaxed us to listen as if we were hearing it for the very first time — to discover something new in the familiar. So treat yourself to the challenge and the invitation of these magical, hear-it-first performances as this LPO season unfolds.