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New World Symphony - Beethoven’s Fifth - December 13, 2014, 7:30 pm - New World Campus

Last night, two friends and I headed to South Beach for New World Symphony’s performance of Manuel de Falla’s El amor brujo (Love, the Magician) and Nights in the Gardens of Spain for Piano and Orchestra, as well as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67. All were conducted by Roberto Abbado.  El amor brujo had additionally, Amanda Crider, mezzo-soprano singing portions of the work and Ingrid Fliter on piano for Nights in the Garden of Spain.  Both Crider and Fliter were excellent but the entire performances were much enhanced by the leadership of Abbado.  The best was yet to come!

After intermission, we returned for Beethoven’s Fifth.  I’ve heard recordings and last year heard it performed by New World Symphony at the Arsht Center in Miami.  However, I wasn’t prepared for the amazing performance at the New World Campus.  The intimate setting of the New World with great acoustics and the very animated conduction of Abbado pretty much blew me away.  The performance was obviously a favorite of the orchestra.  They were smiling and animated with their playing throughout.  We went through the ususal formalities after the performance with a standing ovation, but the audience called Abbado back onto the stage four times.  This was the best performance of the Fifth I’ve ever heard and the audience seemed to think it was pretty special also.

Aftewards, there was a roof top reception but it was impossible to move in the small space provided.  Usually, the roof top receptions include both the outdoor and indoor areas with plenty of room to maneuver, but this time, it was restricted to indoors (probably in anticipation of cold weather which did not materialize).  We had a glass of champagne but no food - not that we needed any.  We had earlier dined at Yardbird on at Lenox and 16th Street.  I overdid it on the fried chicken and okra.  

© Fred Searcy 2017