(click on the title to go to the complete review on the Web)
November 5, 2007
Review: Fox Valley Symphony in tune with Debussy's masterwork
By James Chaudoir
For The Post-Crescent
...The "treat" of the evening was Dmitri Novgorodsky's stunning performance of Rachmaninoff's tour de force, Piano Concerto No. 3 in d minor. From the crisp opening bars of the concerto to its dramatic conclusion, the audience listened intensely to Novgorodsky's mastery of the piano while working in consort with Groner's skillful leadership of the orchestra.
The first movement was filled both with lyrical and sweeping themes that lent themselves to virtuosic treatment in
both the solo and orchestral parts. Novgorodsky's hands moved effortlessly over the keyboard from one challenging passage to the next. It was not only his technical skill that enlivened his musicality, but also his gentle handling of
the more sensitive passages in the music, both of which were called upon the concerto.
The grand cadenza in the first movement unquestionably featured Novgorodsky at his absolute best. His attention
to every detail and nuance was, to put it mildly, breath-taking.
The second movement opened with broad expansive melodic material setting up the piano entry. It was a
movement of varied personalities in which the piano was constantly to the fore, playing an extended solo with orchestral accompaniment. Again, we were taken with Novgorodsky's skill and subtle awareness of Rachmaninoff's score as he glided from one thematic gesture to the next. The brilliant finale, featuring one of the more exciting
codas in all of music, put everyone to the test. Novgorodsky showed no let-up from having already mastered two demanding movements. At times his hands flew over the keys in a blur, yet not a single articulation or nuance was missed.
Upon its completion, the audience burst into thunderous applause with a much-deserved standing ovation. After several curtain calls, Novgorodsky offered a wisp of a piece by Scriabin to bring us back down-to-earth.
How fortunate we are to have such an accomplished talent in our own community.