Concert review: Philharmonic members show off versatility

Louis Roney

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The third summer program of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra took place on Aug. 4 at the Plaza Live Theater. Playing to a nearly filled hall, the evening was titled “Seasons of the Soul,” and OPO violinist Olga Ferroni put together a varied evening of music featuring selections from seasons of the year by several composers: Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Kossenko and Piazzolla.

An English canon from the year 1240 opened the program, and was followed by violinist Victor Ferroni’s beautiful performance of “Winter” from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” 
Guest artist pianist/composer Sergei Kossenko played Tchaikovsky’s “The Seasons.” Movements “June,” “July,” and “August” featured strong rhythm and fast accurately played arpeggi. Mr. Kossenko said this music had been a “paid gig” for Tchaikovsky!

The first half ended with Kossenko’s own composition “Seasons of the Soul ” well performed by violinist Olga Ferroni, flutist Sandra del Cid-Davies, violinist Doug Pritchard, cellist Jonathan Stilwell, and pianist Kossenko. Mr. Kossenko explained to the audience that his composition referred to “seasons of ones life”: hope, romance, love and peace. Upon first hearing the music, it sounded like a life with little dissention, and was highly listenable.

The programs second half paraded the versatility of OPO’s talented members in various styles of music. 

“Autumn Serenade” composed by Mr. Kossenko when he was a boy of 13, was a product of a youth on a rainy, dismal afternoon. Olga Ferroni’s violin playing was memorable. 
“Spring” and “Winter” from “The Four Seasons” by Venezuelan tango composer Astor Piazzolla, played by Ferroni, Stilwell and Kossenko, began in a tango, jazzy style that soon lost itself in a moody plodding haze.

A quartet of bassist Doug Mathews, drummer Mark Goldberg, violinist Olga Ferroni, and pianist Sergei Kossenko offered a jazz medley based on Gershwin’s “Summertime.” Bassist Mathews and drummer Goldberg were outstanding as they combined in a reminder of the Bob Crosby band’s famous recording of “Big Noise from Winnetka” starring Ray Bauduc and Bobby Haggart. Olga is a “hot” jazz fiddler! 

All eight players combined in the closer “Rock Concerto No. 4,” a rousing number by composer Kossenko that left the audience on its feet cheering. 

The final concert of the season will be at the Plaza Live Theater on Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. Call 407-770-0071 for more information. I hope to see you there.