I heard the Harrisburg performance of the Dubrovnik Symphony's US tour Wednesday night at the Whitaker Center.
1. The program opened with Pero Šiša's Konvale Svita (Konavoska Suite), written for the DSO. Its a charming overture, a single movement of impressions from the area in Croatia where Pero grew up. It is masterfully orchestrated.
2. Boris Papandopulo's Xylophone Concerto was next, featuring Jan Lotko and the strings of the DSO. It is exciting and brilliant! Again, tailor made for this soloist and orchestra, the work was well balanced and filled with skill and wit, from both the composer and the soloist. The waltz movement allowed concertmaster Elvira Galioulline to shine as well.
3. The second half was Mozart's final Symphony, Number 41 "Jupiter." Tempos were crisp and clean - outstanding ensemble and pitch throughout this classical era masterpiece. Especially touching was the second movement, with a very poetic and stirring interpretation from Maestro Zlatan Srzic.
4. The group brought one more work for an encore, Mozart's Overture to the Marriage of Figaro. Again, it was a perfect upbeat, crisp interpretation, and I heard new colors I hadn't before in this score - kudos to the winds!
5. It was a real treat to hear this group, and I'll be adding Dubrovnik to my destinations in Europe to visit after hearing and meeting these charming musicians. The only black mark on this concert was the horrendous lighting the Whitaker Center provided. I was embarassed as a Harrisburg resident that a more professional presentation of this splendid group couldn't have allowed them to clearly see the soloist, musicians on the fringe and front of the stage!
Best wishes and safe travel for the group as they go to New York Thursday and back home to Croatia. Let's hope its not another 30 years before they come back!