Three and a half stars
Old Centrum; Oct. 6-7
OP titled the first concert of their fifth season “Indulge in the Sensual” and had an interesting and varied program to fit that title. After an intro of music by The Who, conductor José Valencia conducted the group in Arvo Part’s Festine Lente, a work that has the sacred numbers three and seven intertwined throughout the piece. The instruments, divided into three groups, play the melody seven times, at three different tempos, which sounds like it could be bordering on chaos, yet it wasn’t. With Part’s inclination to many things biblical and spiritual, this piece had a very personal, intimate sense about it. We moved on to explore the Renais-“sense,” with Ottorino Respighi’s Il Trittico Botticelliano. Respighi was a lover of all things Italian, especially from the Renaissance, hence this piece about three Botticelli paintings. Unfortunately, there were intonation issues amongst different sections of the chamber orchestra that marred this work here and there. The evening ended with a saucy tango by Carlos Gardel titled Por Una Cabeza. Played with zest and dash, this piece was a good ending to an evening devoted to the sensual.