At the Plaza Live Theater on Monday, Dec. 7, some 18 players from the Orlando Philharmonic delivered an early Christmas present: “Bach’s Brilliance.”
The OPO’s program contained a comprehensive selection of four quite different Johann Sebastian Bach compositions beginning with the familiar Suite No. 1 in C major. Here we heard a masterful display of dance tunes, Gavottes, Menuets, Bourrees etc. that emphasized the use of oboes and bassoon in themes and variations.
Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major followed with the OPO’s excellent concertmaster Rimma Bergeron-Langlois giving us good reason for her fine reputation with her clear, lovely sound, and graceful technique.
After intermission came the Bach Concerto for Harpsichord No. 2 in D minor. The harpsichordist, Pedja Muzijevic, whose harpsichord was often difficult to hear due to the nature of the instrument’s sound, had a tough assignment that he handled with aplomb. Muzijevic and conductor Eric Jacobsen played in lively fashion with quick tempi. As a New York Times critic used to say, “The guy’s got fingers.” The harpsichord was a delightful and rare addition to the program.
The pièce de résistance, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, for violin and two flutes, was masterful. The solo lines were brilliantly performed by Rimma Bergeron-Langlois on violin and Colleen Blagov and Sandra del Cid-Davies on flute — a virtuosic performance all around. The two flutes played literally as one, and Rimma’s lightning fast accurate runs were breathtaking. Conductor Eric Jacobsen gave us a splendid evening of unbridled enjoyment — truly a wondrous and welcome Christmas present.