Pam Blevins in Brevard, USA sent me this note: it is well worth publishing here:-
If the situation with performances of British music is disappointing (see my recent post on the Halle Proms, JF) this summer season, I am pleased to report a somewhat better climate at the Brevard Music Center tucked away in the mountains of western North Carolina. On opening night Friday, conductor JoAnn Falletta and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra launched the 6-week series with a come-alive performance Walton's Portsmouth Point Overture and a remarkable performance of Elgar's Enigma Variations.
The orchestra was made up of students and faculty who had not played together until four days before the concert, a fact that made Falletta's task even more difficult and challenging. But in that short time with only four rehearsals, she pulled all of these musicians together to give a sweeping, majestic, passionate and beauty-drenched performance that reduced a lot of people to tears. She shaped the music in a way that gave it a new richness and elevated it to a different plane. It was no longer about portraits of Elgar's friends but more that Falletta revealed Elgar's soul and that's what made it so profoundly moving. And she conducted without a score!
Next week, the Brevard Music Center features Vaughan Williams's Oboe Concerto under a different conductor.
Hat tip to Pam for such encouraging news from the USA!