Haydn wrote a symphony in which, one by one, the members of the orchestra leave the stage until no one is left. When I was little, I used to wonder where these musicians went, and whether they were going somewhere to play some other piece written for an orchestra that appears on stage one by one.
The Members of the New Russian Chamber Orchestra emigrated from Russia one by one. Formerly members of some of the Soviet Union's finest orchestras, they met here in the United States and, under the leadership of conductor Joel Spiegelman, decided to give concerts. There are 16 members of the group, all strings, and Saturday they performed at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville.
This is a group that plays with a great deal of spirit. The Mozart serenade "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" bounced along, the tempos on the fast side, but within reason. The Boccherini cello concert with fellow emigre Michael Rudiakov as soloist sounded exuberant, as did the Schubert "Rondo in A Major" for violin and strings with the orchestra's concert-master Yuval Waldman as soloist. And Grieg's "Holberg Suite" gto a sonorous and solid reading.
This orchestra isn't the most precise or the best blended ensemble around, but given some time to work together, they might just wind up being very good.