Since the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra was formed in 1972, conductorless chamber ensembles have become much more commonplace. One of the youngest of these ensembles is the East Coast Chamber Orchestra. Formed in 2001 and made up of musicians who have careers outside of the ensemble, ECCO comes together for a few concentrated periods each year to perform string orchestra works, two of which are the centerpieces of their debut recording. Drama is at the fore in Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, and the full-bodied sound these players create belies the group’s size: the first movement’s churning development and the passionate “Elegie” display the power of full orchestral strings while maintaining the intimacy of the small group. Shostakovich’sRead more darkly-hued Chamber Symphony, an arrangement of the Eighth String Quartet, is written in one continuous narrative, though the character of each movement is dramatically different. ECCO brings out these extremes, with the restrained, quiet intensity of the slow movements exploding into raucous fast sections. ECCO violinist Michi Wiancko’s arrangement of Geminiani’s “La follia” variations rounds out the disc. Though the melody is well-known, the arrangement is a journey, with the variations ranging from standard to exotic: some even use percussion, including a jarring tutti foot-stomping. Throughout the recording, the clarity of the playing and the cohesiveness of the group’s musical expression is astounding, and hopefully another effort from this talented ensemble is in the works.
– Giancarlo Latta, Listen Magazine [Summer 2012] Read less
Works on This Recording
Chamber Symphony in C minor, Op. 110aby Dmitri Shostakovich Orchestra/Ensemble:
East Coast Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1960; USSR Date of Recording: 09/2010 Venue: The Academy of Arts and Letters, New Yor Length: 21 Minutes 22 Secs.
Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Orchestra/Ensemble:
East Coast Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1880; Russia Date of Recording: 09/2010 Venue: The Academy of Arts and Letters, New Yor Length: 31 Minutes 9 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Gorgeous and excitingJuly 18, 2012By Anne L. (San Anselmo, CA)See All My Reviews"As I was driving to a meeting, I turned on the radio just in time to hear the ECCO's rendition of the Geminiani La Follia. This happy accident caused me to be late to the meeting for I could not turn off the radio in the midst of such a display of brilliance! I knew my colleagues would understand as we are musicians by profession...I went home,found the listing on KDFC's website and bought the album. Michi Wiancko's arrangement of "La follia" is unbelievably creative. I don't want to write too much about it because it would spoil the surprises that await the first-time listener. The Tschaikovsky and the Shostakovich are equally stunning. The virtuosic playing and the exciting interpretations make this album one of my all-time favorites. My advice is to buy this album and to keep an eye on this orchestra."Report Abuse