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Review: Symphony presents violinist Chee-Yun and masterwork by American composer

From the Palm Beach Daily News

By Sarah Hutchings

The Palm Beach Symphony presented “Breaking Ground” on Monday evening at The Society of the Four Arts. The concert promised to be a solid offering of masterworks, featuring violinist Chee-Yun, performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concert in E Minor, op. 64.

The concert began with Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring Suite.” Clarinetist Anna Brumbaugh delivered beautiful and warm melodic fragments in the pastoral moments. The cello section, led by Claudio Jaffé, quickly appeared as the cornerstone of the orchestra by adding pluck and bounce to the character of the piece. They provided a solid foundation to the open harmonies, and entertained with their physical responses to the music. The configuration of the orchestra on the stage was perfect for the piece, and we got to hear all of our favorite moments, including the deep, punctuated bass of the piano and bassoon.

Chee-Yun was radiant and precise on stage, eliciting bright and thatchy tones from her instrument. She sang in the lyrical sections of the well-known concerto, but showed her strengths in the technical passages, with constant runs and crescendos timed perfectly with an orchestra that lived dangerously on the off-beat. Chee-Yun sliced her way through the ending passages with a big finish that deserved its standing ovation.

Read the full review.