Lenox — Boston Symphony Orchestra violists Mary Ferrillo, Steven Laraia and Daniel Getz recorded a recital performance with pianist Brett Hodgdon and percussionist Kyle Brightwell in June that the BSO released for streaming on July 31. The video was made in the acoustically fabulous Studio E at Tanglewood’s Linde Center for Music and Learning.
Mary Ferrillo kicked off the program with English composer Rebecca Clarke’s “Sonata for Viola and Piano” followed by the world premiere of TMC alumnus Ulysses Kay’s “Sonatine for Viola and Piano.”
Her facial expressions often reveal her intentions, but no matter what she plays, absolutely no sign of effort registers on Mary Ferrillo’s face. Her playing, characterized by startling precision and finesse, is highly expressive but never overwrought. It’s no wonder she’s turned a lot of heads in her first year with the BSO.
Orchestral musicians tend to be on the nerdy side and proud of it. Accordingly, violist Steven Laraia and percussionist Kyle Brightwell took time for a brief but highly enlightening technical chat preceding their performance of Luciano Berio’s “Naturale, for Viola, Percussion, and Recorded Voice.”
Last on the program, Daniel Getz performed a well-known work by former Tanglewood Music Center faculty member Paul Hindemith: the “Sonata for Viola and Piano,” Op. 11, No. 4.
Each of these violists is capable of leading their section. (Mr. Laraia was principal viola of the Sarasota Orchestra before joining the BSO.) But in BSO performances, they all sit behind the principal and contribute to a magically unified sound that comes to us as the voice of a single instrument. To show them up close in recital performance is to give away the secret to their section’s success. And it’s all there, right before your eyes. Musicianship at this level is breathtaking to behold.
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Running time: one hour and 16 minutes.
This video will be available for streaming through Friday, Aug. 7, at bso.org.