Adam Golka with the ISO

Pianist Adam Golka performed with the ISO last weekend.


Classical Series Program No. 14




Circle Theatre; April 8-10.


hour and four minutes. That's how long it took Mark Wigglesworth to wend the

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra through Rachmaninoff's towering but tuneful

Second Symphony (in E Minor, Op. 27 – 1906). The length was mostly due to

the conductor's restoring the first-movement cuts the composer had sanctioned

for the work's early recordings. Wigglesworth, his second appearance as ISO

guest conductor after a decade, also repeated Rachmaninoff's long,

first-movement exposition, expanding the movement to 25 minutes. This British

podium artist had greatly impressed in his first appearance with a precise,

dynamically shaped Shostakovich 10th. Clearly he's lost none of his abilities. He

made the Rach 2nd exciting with the same

adjectives, even though taking a generally moderate tempo, as performances go.

Excellent solo work complemented the reading, the strings as an ensemble the

most on cue. We're basked in the composer's lovely lyric, third-movement melody

perhaps a bit too often — characteristic of this last vestige of a

Romantic chestnut. A greater treat preceded the symphony, as pianist Adam Golka

substituted for injured violinist Leila Josefowicz, and Beethoven's First Piano

Concerto in C, Op. 15, took the place of the Shostakovich First Violin

Concerto. One of the two American Pianists Association 2009 Fellows, Golka, at

22, impresses as one of the finest musician/virtuosos touring today. But more

than that, Wigglesworth and his orchestra gave us one of the most beautifully

phrased accounts of any Classical-era work I've heard in some while, with he

and Golka in perfect sync throughout. Golka made liberal use of the pedal

without passage smearing. All three movements made this a concert to remember.


Tom Aldridge


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