Monadnock; Disappointing Monadnock opening
The opening of the season at the Monadnock Music Festival in Peterborough, N.H., could have been a ''historic concert,'' as the billing trumpeted. All four of the works - a couple of symphonies, a piano concerto, and an impromptu - were simultaneously premiered by their fiery creator, Beethoven, in 1808. For this performance, conductor James Bolle scaled down the string section to early 19th-century proportions and the tempos were leisurely.
Unfortunately, the orchestra seemed to be so caught up with historical accuracy that it forgot about clean playing. No one seemed to know what he was doing. The players were lost in their ensemble troubles, the conductor in his score.
The featured soloist, pianist Russell Sherman, had to wrestle not only with the clumsy accompaniment but also with the clangorous piano. Later, though, he gave a thoughtful account of the Op. 77 Fantasy for piano solo - although even this did not redeem an otherwise dull evening.