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From the Frenetic, etc

As usual, I'm honored to be asked to 'sit in' & peruse the awesome combined talent of our local treasure........Sarasota's Florida West Coast Symphony. For their Casual Classics 'Great Escape' series (2/5/04), the orchestra delved into the area of 'Sophisticated Ladies.' Maestro Leif Bjaland with his bent for taking both the classics & the jazz/pop idiom to the edge, succeeded once again with wowing his audience in his musical choices.

With an athletic, warm, & imposing conducting style, Bjaland took us to the land of Debussey & Carmen, as well as that of Ellington, Grusin, & Styne. Grusin's composition of 'On Golden Pond' was played with flawless abandon........And, was the true 'gem' of the evening. Jule Styne's 'Funny Girl' overture can still give you that sense of gladness & thanks for how prolific the USA has been in producing such viable music and creative composers. Leif Bjaland is an argument that yes, the gap is quite minimal between jazz and the classics, to the extent that an emotional element is present in all music. However, at the hands of this Maestro, an audience is carried beyond mere formless emotion in the abstract. On the contrary, I noted listeners became caught up in the aesthetic experience of the music being conducted @ the moment. This night of music was a fine example of how music can sometimes take us beyond the limit, and become almost transcendental. Thanks again Leif.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Florida West Coast Symphony
  • Concert Date: 6/26/1905
  • Venue: Holley Hall
  • City State Country: Sarasota, FL, USA
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