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The Dartmouth
May 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Four groups deliver in Beethoven concert

The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, aided by the Chamber Singers, the Glee Club, and the Handel Society delivered stunning performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony over the weekend.

Before the concert began, Director of the Hopkins Center Lewis Crickard presented the Senior Symphonic Award to a surprised Patrick Kwon '96.

Kwon, a soloist and two-year concert master, received a warm and lengthy round of applause from an audience which seemed familiar with and appreciative of his talent and commitment to the DSO.

With Anthony Princiotti, the conductor of the DSO, taking the podium, the first movement began with a controlled intensity that realized Beethoven's expectations in composing the opening motive.

The opening motive created a world of sound that quickly developed from nothingness to a powerful climax.

Throughout the entire concert, all the string sections maintained a beautiful, clear, even, and at times almost contemplative sound in the more restrained portions of the work.

Princiotti conducted the first movement superbly. The lengthy musical gestures he created were flowing and energized, building to the tumultuous moments.

The charged rhythms of the second movement were cleanly executed by the orchestra and energetically motivated by Princiotti.

At times in this movement as well as in the first, bigger climaxes, particularly in the strings, contrasted with the delicate playing at which the orchestra was so adept.

After the second movement, more than one hundred and twenty singers entered, followed by four elegantly-dressed soloists.

When the fourth movement came, it was a pleasure of sonorities.

The introduction of the Joy theme by the cellos was extremely sensitive as were its repetitions in the other strings.

Baritone Robert Honeysucker delivered the next pleasurable sonorous experience as the audience came to attention at the first sweet sounds which emanated from his mouth.

Coupled with his charming presence and animated expression, Honeysucker drew the audience into a world where his voice and the theme it introduced exemplified the feeling of the magical community of which Schiller's text speaks.

The first sound of the entire chorus was a magnificent display of power and articulation.

Throughout the performance, the singers' crisp diction and sheer numbers produced a very balanced and refined sound that managed to overpower the orchestra in some sections.

A fine group of soloists rounded out the vocal aspect of the work. Particularly notable was the tenor, Robert Clement, with his clear, powerful, and agile voice that negotiated the brisk tempo in the Turkish Dance.