Stories » Bela Fleck with South Carolina Phil play powerful American program post election / Free Times

Top 10 for Jun

Bela Fleck with South Carolina Phil play powerful American program post election / Free Times

Bookmark and Share

The South Carolina Philharmonic played its third Masterworks concert of the season Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Koger Center, in Columbia. The program contained three works by American composers: Overture to Candid by Leonard Bernstein, Juno Concerto by Béla Fleck, and Symphony No. 3 by Aaron Copland. Béla Fleck was the banjo soloist. Morihiko Nakahara was the conductor. Perhaps several months ago there was a thought in someone's mind at the Philharmonic that something "American" might be appropriate for this concert, taking place just four days after a presidential election. Little did anyone know how apropos that thought was.

Béla Fleck's new Juno Concerto, a work commissioned in part by the South Carolina Philharmonic, was also powerful. His The Imposter concerto, performed here a few seasons ago, inspired some justified criticisms. The Juno Concerto struck a very different chord. The orchestration was excellent, and the ensemble was very much a partner of the banjo, blending with satisfying sonorities. It's so enticing that a banjoist can actually sound like two players - a prominent melodic line performed against a perpetual accompaniment of quick notes. Amazing sounds.

READ THE FULL Free Times REVIEW