On Friday, November 16 @ 6:30 I arrived at the Venice Performing Arts Center on, 1 Indian Avenue, Venice, Florida 34285, to watch the Venice Symphony play, Festa Italia, which means Italian Feast in Italian. I’m glad I arrived early because the parking lot was becoming filled quick. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, because it was my first time. I had a reserved seat in the front, 2nd row and could get a pretty good view and heard better due to my hearing loss.
After sitting down in my assigned chair, I turned around and couldn’t believe my eyes. Almost all the seats were full, and I was told that this auditorium could fit up to eight hundred people. Not only that, I seemed to be the youngest one there. The music pieces that were played are: Festive Overture, op. 96, Dimitri Shostakovich, Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome, Ottorino Respighi, Carnival of Venice (folk tune arranged by Dr.
Aaron Romm) and Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, op 28, Camille Saint-Saens. The two that caught my attention are: with solo violinist, Marcus Ratzenboeck, who played in Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and with solo cornet player, Dr. Aaron Romm, who played and arranged, Carnival of Venice.
My favorite out of the four about six minutes long, folk tune, “Carnival of Venice”, was considered a show off piece for the cornet, a melody from a children’s song, “My Hat It Has Three Corners”. In 1952 (true story), a novelty song, (How Much Is) That Doggie in The Window, based on the tune.
The soloist for this piece, Dr. Aaron Romm, not only arranged this performance to align with the symphony, his skills on the cornet were thrilling and had me on the edge of my seat. This duble and polyphonic piece starts off with a slow tempo, an act of cadenza, which immediately pops into rapid alternation in notes and speed. A trill is in the air constantly. Drops to a moderate tempo at a pianissimo level, turns into a fortissimo back down to a forte. The tempo slows down gradually, a shift in the time signature. The volume slowly increases, and the trill is back on. Absolutely amazing tune, I give them five stars.
My next favorite, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, in A minor, Op. 28, is a composition for a violin and orchestra which was written in 1863, a little over ten minutes long. Solo violinist, Marcus Ratzenboeck was professional and on point. This piece is in duble meter which opens to a 36-bar theme in A minor, implementing key as well as balanceing and sweet-sounding themes. The orchestra supports the violin with block chord involvement while the soloist plays flawless arpeggios and intense scalar channels. The polyphonic rhythm of the soloist fluctuates between syncopated rising arpeggios and soaring eighth notes in bar 18 and the motion picks up when the tempo signal changes from Andante to animato, and the performer jumps into a trilling thirty-second note line. Once again, I was on the edge of my seat.
The other two pieces didn’t have soloists. When their someone playing, facing you, with the composer at the corner of his eye is more entertaining I feel. Louder and clearer to me. The conductor of this program, Troy Quin, was off the chain and did extremely well. He is only thirty-five years old and just joined The Venice Symphony five months ago. Quinn has appeared on Fox’s GLEE, NBC’s The Voice and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno which I think is very impressive. I recommend others to see this program called, Festa Italia!