The orchestra's percussion section — Dave Steffens, Lance Drege, Roger Owens and Stuart Langsam — performed their equally critical role in this concerto's success through precise and colorful exchanges with the soloist. Joel Levine kept taut reins over the proceedings which culminated in a spectacular performance.
The evening's finale, Tchaikovsky's suite from “Swan Lake,” which Levine bookended with a prologue and dramatic finale, served as a sort of prelude for the Oklahoma City Ballet's April staging of the full-length ballet.
Levine carefully shaped the work with remarkable taste and musical understanding. There were lovely solos by oboist Lisa Harvey-Reed, harpist Gaye LeBlanc, cellist Jonathan Ruck and concertmaster Gregory Lee.
Levine's expert pacing and balancing of the orchestral sections through an ever-changing panorama of waltzes and nationalistic dances reminded listeners of this orchestra's remarkable virtuosic capabilities. It's a concert that won't soon be forgotten.
— Rick Rogers