Posts Tagged ‘Summer Stars season ends with Orchestra Finale in Ocean Grove’



Gordon Turk. OG organist. Paul Goldfinger portrait. 2021.



By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger


Thursday night was one of those remarkable classical events in the Great Auditorium.   An all string orchestra of about 40 pieces  (including one tympani player) assembled under the baton of Jason Tramm.  It was an ambitious program, given that it lasted only about 75 minutes.

There were two organ concertos and a hymn for organ and orchestra.  Heavy hitters of organ composers were featured including Hanson, Jongen and Poulenc. Gordon Turk was at the controls of that massive Hope-Jones organ. It was as if he were riding some sort of prehistoric musical mammoth.  Those 11,000 pipes produced so many different kinds of sounds that you didn’t miss the woodwinds or the brass.  There were low scary chords that roared and practically shook the building.  Then there were light and cheerful twinkly moments that transported the audience to a calliope on some boardwalk near the beach, and other times, the giant musical creature just purred.

The Francis Poulenc Concerto in G Minor, described by the organ curator John Shaw as a “war horse,”carried the audience to all sorts of moods and musical experiences. The tempo changed 7 times during the 20 minute concerto.   During the Poulenc, the steady rain outside became torrential. It created a constant sound, like white noise, as it cascaded off the roof of the Great Auditorium and hit the ground.  The doors were open, and the soft light outside revealed the water pouring down.  The sound of the rain became part of the concerto, and when the volume became pianissimo, you could hear nature blending with the orchestra.

Ronald Naldi, always an elegant and popular presence in Ocean Grove, strode onto the stage wearing a white dinner jacket with a black tie and black pants.  He performed an aria from Rigoletto composed by Giuseppe Verdi, who was born 200 years ago.  He also sang an aria from Tosca by Giacomo Puccini.   As expected, there were opera buffs in the house who whooped and hollered after each piece.

Ronald Naldi is so good, that one stares in disbelief to see him on the stage in Ocean Grove.


RONALD NALDI   from his album of Neapolitan and Italian songs  “Torna”



Current photo of Ronald Naldi in the Tabernacle. July 2022. Paul Goldfinger photo.




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