Discipline is a requirement for musicians, whether they are playing in an orchestra, soloing or conducting. Sometimes, though, adhering to strict control can subdue the emotional level — as it did in the major work on the program of the New Valley Symphony Orchestra heard Sunday afternoon at the Hall of Liberty, Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills.
Conductor Armen Garabedian was firmly in control of his 40-member orchestra, using his baton with surgical precision throughout the concert. The result was satisfying and smooth playing from the strings and extraordinary performances from the woodwinds and brass sections in the program of the music of George Bizet, Johannes Brahms and George Gershwin.
The power of his baton drew on the talents of his musicians in the Bizet Carmen Suites No. 1 and No. 2, but a precise rendition of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, with pianist Nazeli Atayan soloing in the concert’s opening work, never caught fire.