Sylvia Alimena launched the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra's 11th season Sunday at the Church of the Epiphany, Downtown, in a splendid performance revealing common threads in less familiar works. She stays attuned to her musicians, attentive to what makes the music work and mindful of its composer's intent. And Alimena explains each work succinctly and lucidly to the audience.
The "Opening Fanfare" of composer-in-residence Truman Harris was a moving retrospective of spacious, tonally based textures and jazz-driven fugal sorties. It is to reappear each year as the orchestra's season opener, but rearranged for the particular instruments needed for each program. The fanfare's retrospective harmonic inclinations -- heard in much music today -- also resounded in John Corigliano's "Voyage" and Leos Janacek's Suite for String Orchestra. Janacek straddles the border between Bohemian merriment and Austrian melancholia, both born of a dancing countryside. Mark Evans offered an eloquent cello solo.
Though centuries apart, the Sinfonie No. 5 of Alessandro Scarlatti (Domenico's father), a newly discovered Sinfonia of Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang's father) and Corigliano's "Voyage" share a lush Italianate effulgence. Flutists Carole Bean and Alice Kogan Weinreb added even more operatic luster to the orchestra's pungent account of the Scarlatti.
-- Cecelia Porter