Joe Tackett (yes, the Joe Tackett) moderated a pre-show chat with Lexington Philharmonic music director candidate Darryl One (right) before the Jan. 18 concert. Below: One accepts a standing ovation after the show. LexGo photos by Rich Copley.
Museum can be a dirty word in classical music circles.
In a genre struggling to assert its relevance to new audiences, museum usually represents an attitude that the masterworks are museum pieces, merely representative of another place and time.
But, at his pre-concert chat Friday night, Darryl One didn't hesitate to use the term when describing an orchestra's role in its community.
An orchestra, he said, is "a curator of a unique, very wonderful type of museum that doesn't exist in an exhibit, that doesn't exist in a building, but exists as the orchestra plays and makes the soundwaves move out. That's the product of the geniuses of our time, when we think of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and in the case of tonight's concert, Respighi, Poulenc and Tchaikovsky. These were exceptional men with skills and gifts beyond mere mortal men. And to have their minds exposed to us in these wonderful sonic landscapes, that's what an orchestra will get for you . . . we're the caretakers of that history."
One (pronounced OH-nay) was in town as one of the candidates to succeed George Zack as music director of the Philharmonic. He kept his stage patter to a minimum, greeting the audience at the beginning of the second half of the concert. He noted that, as he mainly circulates in Southern Texas and California, he hadn't experienced temperatures like this week's 30s and 20s in a while -- wait'll Sunday morning, Darryl -- but added he'd been warmed by our Kentucky hospitality.
In the first half of the concert, he had a good sense of occasion, making sure local talent and organ soloist Schulyer Robinson got his moment in the spotlight after his performance of Poulenc's Organ Concerto. And the audience gave One a spontaneous standing O at the end of the concert, after a hot rendition of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. Read Loren Tice's review.
Folks in the hall may have noted something missing from the stage Friday: a conductor's score. Asked about that by pre-show chat by moderator and Philharmonic bassist Joe Tackett, One said he memorizes the scores so, "I can be with the musicians as much as possible."
Nothing between the curator and the art.