“A hint of paprika wafted through the Great Hall of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on May 12,  as the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, led by Artistic Director Jason Weinberger, gave us a program entitled ‘The Hungarian Project,’ ” writes Thomas Tritle in Wednesday’s (5/16) Courier (Waterloo, Iowa). “One of the myths of music is that only a native composer can truly recreate the flavor of his nationality’s music…. ‘The Hungarian Dances’ of the German Johannes Brahms falls into this category… Weinberger chose a set of three—Dances 10, 3 and 1, in that order…. The string sections handled the difficulties with élan. There followed the scintillating Divertimento (Sz. 113) of Béla Bartók [performed] with admirable precision… The evening finished with … Zoltán Kodály’s … stirring ‘Dances of Galánta.’ … Its five movements collectively move from slow to fast, as do the majority of Hungarian dances…. Notable was a blazing horn call by Tina Su, near the opening…. The strings [showed] off excellent passagework and precision throughout, highlighted by some admirable solo work by concertmistress Anita Tucker. One could almost hear the slap of hand on the high black leather boots of the dancers—a feature of this music, still danced today.”

Posted May 18, 2018