See my review of the first CD released by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in Sunday's Washington Post:
Charles T. Downey, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Three Symphonic Centuries’
Washington Post, September 4, 2011
The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is good at anniversaries. This year, the orchestra celebrates its 50th; in 2008, it celebrated the 300th anniversary of the signing of the Royal Charter of the City of Annapolis with a historically themed concert that featured four pieces written at 100-year intervals, from 1708.
Three Symphonic Centuries, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, José-Luis Novo
Live recordings from the two 2008 performances (Nov. 7 and 8) were produced and edited by Jamey Lamar (engineering by Bruce Egre of Azica Records), for the group’s first professionally produced CD, on the ASO’s own newly founded label. The disc is a significant achievement for a small, regional, professional ensemble — though not necessarily for the quality of music making, which is good but not extraordinary. It is also a sign of how niche-oriented the classical music world is becoming.
A Corelli concerto grosso (Op. 6, No. 9 from around 1708) has a buoyant lilt in the phrasing, notable for an ensemble that doesn’t specialize in baroque music, with a fine-edged solo group composed of three string principals plus local harpsichordist Joseph Gascho. The orchestra’s music director, Spanish conductor José-Luis Novo, leads a competent performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, from 1808, but the meat of the program is too squarely and safely played to provide much interest. Ravel’s “Rapsodie Espagnole,” from 1908, adds some welcome color and exotic flavor to the stew. [Continue reading]
Tim Smith, 3 musical centuries (Baltimore Sun, November 13, 2008)
Arundel Digest (on the Richebourg donation)
50th anniversary season of the ASO, with another piece by Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen at the opening concerts (September 23 and 24)