The last time I was in Pendleton before this week was for our performance of the Elgar Violin Concerto with Jorja Fleezanis in February, a memorable week for all concerned. Funny that the week I return to Pendleton is the week she returns to the Elgar, this time with the Minnesota Orchestra and Neville Mariner.
The Star Tribune has this long and very good feature on Jorja with some unusally insightful remarks about the Elgar. The OES concert even gets a brief mention “I was flying in Oregon,” said Jorja.
That she was. I just got my hands on the CD of our concert- I’m happiest with the orchestra’s playing of the piece out of everything we’ve done here. We had a beautiful sound going that week, but most importantly, we were flawlessly with her through every twist and turn in that famously impossible accompaniment.
And we did fly- the entire performance came in at 46’51.” That’s over ten minutes faster than Kennedy’s recording, and, to the best of my knowledge, the fastest performance this side of Heifitz, who actually used some rather lousy cuts in the finale, for which I assume he is still burning in hell.
At our tempos the piece feels bigger because it hangs together in one huge, al-powerful arch, instead of being a serious a stagnant, strung-together single events.