Happy (belated) birthday Beethoven

The piece still retained the geniality of the first half’s Serenade and Quintet. Like Bryant, Yablonsky was an assured leader. The Septet is sometimes lead by a conductor, for this performance the musicians turned to Yablonsky for their cues. Yablonsky was also at home in the piece’s violin solos, equaling the vim and vigor of the work. She was helped by balanced, soft edged playing from the winds and horn. DiLorenzo’s playing maintained the same stylishness and plush tone from the beginning of the concert to the end.

With this early Beethoven concert behind them, the SSO will turn its attention to the pinnacle of the composer’s late period – the Ninth Symphony. The annual, end of year performances, of the Ninth attracts large, adoring audiences. On purely musical terms, the Ninth is a stark counterpoint to the smiling air of his early chamber music. The story of Beethoven’s compositional life began with pieces like the Septet and Serenade, but ends, later in the month, with the still unsurpassed Ninth.

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