Hilbert Circle Theater; May 18-19
Friday wasn’t the best night for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Guest conductor Stephane Deneve started things off with a lesser-known Berlioz piece, “Overture to Les Franc-juges,” and it was rather forgettable. A newer piece, “A Glimmer in an Age of Darkness” by Guillame Connesson dedicated to Deneve, followed. It was enjoyable, sounding much like Debussy, complete with interesting textures and colorful harmonies. More energy might have been devoted to the program’s closer, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. This staple in the symphonic repertoire was crawling with mistakes in all movements. Early violin entrances, trumpet flubs and ill-tuned percussion were just some of the many errors of the evening, and that saddened me because I know how good the ISO can be. It wasn’t all bad though. The horns really shone at the end of the fourth movement, and principal bassist Ju-Fang Liu kicked ass with her sweet-as-honey haunting solo in the third movement.