Whatever your weekend plans were cancel them and find a way to the Count Basie Theater tonight at 8 or NJPAC tomorrow at 3 to see the latest New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. There is no greater musical performance going on in the tri-state area than Christoph Konig's masterful conduction of the orchestra performing alongside solo violinist Stefan Jackiw. The soloist much like Clapton on guitar or Joel on keyboards plays imperiously, impressively, and holds sway over the audience.

Playing three pieces they've never played before - Dohnanyi's "The Veil of Pierrette, Op. 18", "Dvorak's "Romance in F Minor for Violin and Orchestra" and Dvo?ák's Fifth Symphony offers a conductor dancing in perfect tandem with his orchestra presenting harmonic passion, that is playful especially in the Dohnanyi.

Jackiw shines with Dvorak offering a virtuoso performance. He lulls, cajoles the notes to dance majestically before us. With the orchestra, they reach an aural vernacular that is pleasing, persuasive, and contemplative, and not to be missed.

Jackiw presents the violin in its array moving swiftly thankfully from silence, screeches to dramatic flourishes offering an instrument at battle with itself. He delicately creates silence and melody harkening to its musical brethren, only to be ignored until a sweet short stanza of pure, simple playing. Crafting a call and response of tonal frolic. Swaying carefully between dissonance and pleasure, this is a complex, rich, meandering piece of music. One moment it is lust with the full orchestra playing for the heavens in sonic joy, the next the strings rebel hauntingly, jauntily strutting of their own accord.

Konig commented that he'd heard Dvorak's Fifth Symphony in Vienna and that "is wonderful music that stunned, puzzled, and that I am in love with it." Audiences will be too. These are pieces that are rousing and should be in wider play lists.

Dohnanyi bursts with a great variety offering a dramatic rendering by soloist and orchestra, and a full-bodied conductor that is fun to watch here and in the Dvorak as his gestures urge the music to life. The performances are exciting, keenly attentive to the scores' intricacies and united in presenting a wondrous evening of music. The orchestra should continue presenting rarely heard works - especially ones that they bring to life with such passion.

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From This Author adam cohen

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