THE MUSIC BEAT
Editor’s Note: This is an assessment of the first of three auditions for the Catskill Symphony Orchestra’s next conductor. Silas Huff directed the CSO Saturday, Sept. 7, at SUNY Oneonta’s Hunt Union Ballroom. Next, on Oct. 12, is Carolyn Watson.
By ROBERT MOYNIHAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – At the SUNY Hunt Union Ballroom, an alert and receptive audience Saturday, Sept. 7, heard the first contender for its Catskill Symphony Orchestra leader, Silas Nathaniel Huff. The concert highlighted performances of Haydn, Verdi and Stravinsky. The program began with the younger Strauss’s “Overture to Die Fledermaus.”
The evening was a proving stage for multiple demands of styles from the 18th century to arguably the greatest 20th century modern, Igor Stravinsky. His “Firebird” is as tonally remarkable as anything in the repertoire, including even “The Rite of Spring,” which produced a riot at its first Paris hearing. With repeated performances, “The Rite” has lost some of its revolutionary impudence, and a listener can even hum its first melody.
However, as Robert Craft noted in his first volume of Stravinsky’s letters, “The Firebird’s” success placed the composer on a new artistic planet.