New Haven Register
    Monday, April 13, 1992

    Orchestra New England delivers despite illness of James Sinclair

    .... Orchestra New England and James Sinclair are so synonymous for ONE's audiences that only and assurance that the maestro would be on hand to conduct the second half of the concert in Battell Chapel Saturday evening forestalled panic at the announcement that Arthur Post was taking over for the first half, illness had limited Sinclair's rehearsal time with the orchestra.
    Though Sinclair was missed, there was no loss of quality. Post did a splendid job with Mozart's Divertimento No. 11 in D Major, K 251 and Wagner's "Siegfried's Idyll," and Sinclair's return after intermission with piano soloist John Arpin for performances of ragtime composer William Ryden's "Three Pieces in Ragtime" and "Concerto in Ragtime" was frosting on the cake.
    Post, who once played bass with ONE and is currently a conducting affiliate in the Yale School of Music, led the Mozart Divertimento with graceful assurance, a straight forward beat, sufficient classical restraint to underscore the work's clarity and elegance, Kevin Vigneau, who is so good that I keep wondering why some ensemble doesn't capture him as a permanent principal oboist, fully merited the solo bow Post gave him.
    The second half was sheer delight. Sinclair was none the worse for his illness, and the combination of Ryden's music and Arpin's wonderful piano artistry brought the house down. In his "Three Pieces for Ragtime" ("Fragments," "Lullaby" and "Razzamatazz") and his "Concerto for Ragtime" (its world premiere), Ryden seems to have effected and ideal union of the ragtime idiom and what is now called Western art music.
    Both works move wonderfully through a range of moods from nostalgic introspection to giddy exuberance, and Arpin gave a mesmerizing performance.

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