Programming two famous, warhorse symphonies on one concert is a gutsy move. Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 1 are works that every orchestral musician is well acquainted with - sometimes so much so that it's to the point of boredom or burn out. The challenge then becomes to perform these works in a way that conveys every gem that these brilliant works contain. Congratulations are in order for Mario Venzago and the ISO for meeting this challenge head on, and coming out more than successful. Venzago's tempos for the Beethoven were brisk and refreshing, and the orchestra's sound was vibrant and solid. The Brahms was also taken at a healthy clip, yet never lost any of the intensity that is integral to a successful reading. Both pieces earned standing ovations Saturday night, and many concertgoers, myself included, found clapping in between movements of the Beethoven to be in order. Before they tackled the warhorses though, they performed LUX
, by Marilyn K. Glick Young Composer Award Winner Stephen Cabell. Showing immense talent, this work was sonically engaging and captivating, and I look forward to hearing Cabell's future compositions.