One wants considerable mellowness from a cello, and this Roman possessed; but his tone was also characterized by the slightest bit of grit at the periphery, the tiniest measure of huskiness, which gave his playing an expressive edge that surpassed mere pr
The program opened with a listless interpretation of the “Entrance of the Gods Into Valhalla” from Wagner’s in which the symphony’s brass section did not entirely rise to the occasion, and it concluded with a spirited reading of Dvorˇák’s Symphony
which proved more successful. Cox, who has been the assistant conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra and was recently promoted to associate conductor, has a fluid conducting style. The ensemble’s response to some of his initial downbeats suggested it may be just a shade too fluid, but once the movements got rolling, they flowed buoyantly. Several of the orchestra’s players should be specially applauded for the high quality of their solo input: the French horn section in the first movement, English hornist Vigneau (Pro Musica’s oboist) in the second, and clarinetist Lori Lovato in the third.
Assuming it is just a coincidence, an unwitting beneficiary of the Santa Fe Symphony’s program will be the New Mexico Philharmonic. Next April 22, at Albuquerque’s Popejoy Hall, Roberto Minczuk will be leading that orchestra in a concert comprising Brahms’ Violin Concerto (with Jennifer Koh as soloist) and Dvorˇák’s Symphony The players who also perform with the Santa Fe Symphony will already have those two pieces on the front burner. Perhaps Minczuk will add some Wagner to start. It rather reminds one of George Bernard Shaw’s observation about such a confluence in London during the “Mozart Year” of 1891: “The Crystal Palace committed itself to the Symphony and the Requiem; and the Albert Hall, by way of varying the entertainment, announced the Requiem and the Symphony.”