The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra is off for five months now until October. That's not wildly good news after Anne Harrigan's latest juggling act last night when she tossed up and deftly kept airborne a new chunk of mini-music, a 1942 Richard Strauss horn concerto and one of Mozart's liveliest symphonies.
First, conductor Harrigan flicked her wrists and ignited two percussionists, Larry Reese and John Locke, in their jazzy rhythmic playing of tambourines in the world premiere of Michael Daugherty's catchy "Flamingo." Daugherty's original name, "Melodic Crunch," was changed to suggest the Spanish flamenco dance, but there was a bit of both there.
The 10-minute work was snappily played as a series of dances, pulsating beats melting into soft strings, yearning woodwinds and muted brass, false endings and mostly fun that when it did end, shouldn't have . . . quite yet. The composer told the large Kraushaar Auditorium crowd at Goucher College that he wrote music as a visual drawing. If so, "Flamenco" was a modest, entertaining Garry Trudeau/Jackson Pollock.