From The Evening Bulletin (Philadelphia, PA), January 23. 1973

At the Academy


Amram Work a Hit With Students

By WILLIAM J. NAZZARO
Of The Bulletin Staff

THREE CONTEMPORARY WORKS, and one classic of the standard repertoire were the bill of fare last night at the Philadelphia Orchestra's second senior student concert of the season.

The three contemporary pieces were "L'Horloge de Flore," ("The Flower Clock") by Jean Francaix; "Theoria," for 15 winds, piano and percussion, by Joseph Castaldo; and the third movement from David Amram's Triple Concerto for Woodwind, Brass and Jazz Quintets and Orchestra. William Smith, the orchestra's assistant conductor, opened the program with a suite from Tchaikovsky's score to the ballet, "The Sleeping Beauty."

The Amram, composed in 1970, and being given its first performances by the orchestra, made the greatest hit with the young audience. Amram himself played the Pakistani flute with his own jazz quintet and commented on his own music. He proved quite a virtuoso on this instrument, which one hardly ever hears at an orchestral concert, and he proved, as usual, ingratiatingly personable when talking about his music.

THE BEST MOMENTS came with Amram's own solo bits, including a stunning cadenza, which was encored in response to the enthusiastic applause. The sections where jazz elements predominated also had greater impact than the more classical-tinged ones.

The three solo groups were not always heard as separate and distinct parts of the music, though, on balance, the music had more to say than one often hears nowadays in contemporary scores. (The piece was given its Philadelphia Orchestra premiere at Thursday's junior student concert.)


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