WASHINGTON, IL -- The Heartland Festival Orchestra opened its eighth season with an all Beethoven program, highlighted by virtuoso violinist and guest soloist Rachel Barton Pine. And what a program it was!
Pine was spectacular in Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 61. Before the piece began she spoke briefly about its cadenzas, created by her. Also unique were its dissonances, opening the door to modern music.
For an encore Pine played Fritz Kreisler's Recitativo and Scherzo Op. 6, another breathtaking piece.
The orchestra also played Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Op. 84, followed by Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 in F Major Op. 93.
Conductor and artistic director David Commanday paused after the first movement of the symphony to give a brief talk on metronomes, and demonstrated the beat with a traditional device, then his cell phone. The second movement of the symphony keeps a beat much like a metronome.
The evening was entitled Beethoven's 8th Wonder, an appropriate beginning to the orchestra's eighth season.
-- Elaine Hopkins