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Review: RSO presents Masterworks, teams with pianist Terrence Wilson at Jefferson Center for quality concert | Music

Terrence Wilson

Maestro David Stewart Wiley and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra are celebrating their 25th season together. On Friday night, Wiley took the baton and led the ensemble through its second Masterworks concert this season.

This time out, at Jefferson Center’s Shaftman Performance Hall, they also teamed with a Grammy Award-nominated pianist, Terrence Wilson.

The program opened with a short piece for string orchestra — more on that in a bit — but it’s Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C major (“Jupiter”) and Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor (K. 491) that warrant the masterwork label.

Wiley and the orchestra delivered a quality performance of the Jupiter. The first movement struck me as a little stiff and angular, but the lovely second pulsated with sweet yearning. The third movement often seems too fast to me, just as it did this evening. Did Mozart intend this minuet to be felt in one, rather than three? The quick tempo facilitates sliding scales at the expense of numerous jocular juxtapositions offered in tribute to Haydn. When it came time for the last movement, Jupiter’s finale sine qua non, Wiley and his orchestra fastened spurs to boots, finding stride at the exposition repeat and building to an outstanding finish.

There were many wonderful Jupiter moments, especially when runs passed from winds to strings. Starting on high and flying down through the orchestra, the terrific playing (shout out to principal bassoon Scott Bartlett) was carried on by the RSO’s cellos and basses, who paid allegiance to what makes this music thrilling.

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