|ICO music director Matthew Kraemer|
The remainder of the first half — after the Debussy/Ravel had set the upbeat mood and showed off the ICO's nicely honed ensemble sound in the hall's fine acoustics — focused on the guest soloist, Tessa Lark. Lark won the silver medal at last year's International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, standing out not only for her captivating performances but also for being the only finalist not of South Korean origin or heritage.
|Tessa Lark shoulders her prizewinning responsibilities well.|
The concerto features a demanding cadenza loaded with double stops that redeems the superficiality of much of the first-movement material. The slow movement is in the tender but not very deep-seated manner of the French tradition of lyricism. In the outer movements, the vigor and firm coordination of the orchestral tuttis buoyed up Lark's solo playing.
The Beethoven Romance displayed a soaring, more consistent, better founded lyricism of which Lark showed herself to be a master. The IVCI connection to Indianapolis continues to provide the area's orchestras with return appearances by excellent young concert artists. Lark's engagement to help launch the ICO season was an admirable continuation of that legacy. And Kraemer seems poised to extend the orchestra's own legacy of refined, emotionally involving performances.