Celebrating “In My Time,” his ninth album for Private Greece’s Yanni mixes modern and technological instruments with traditional ones; horns complement electronic keyboards, electric bass complements oboe. He also fuses musical styles, creating a sort of pop classical feel.
Yanni’s arrangements were diverse, flavored with a variety of influences, including Eastern and Middle Eastern themes, such as his Greek folk tune “Marching Season” in 9/8 and 7/8 time signatures. He also favors minor keys.
Although piano is his dominant instrument, Yanni left plenty of room for his band and the orchestra to display their chops. Bassist Rick Fierabraci and violinist Karen Briggs were particularly talented, displaying superb proficiency and musical style. The fiery Briggs added her own unconventional “soul” flair to her technical ability.
A dynamic violin duet featuring Briggs and conductor Shardad Rohani, presented like a battle, spawned awe and laughter. Later two sopranos, the only vocals, joined in for a duet.
Toward the end of the show, Yanni even stepped up to conduct the orchestra himself.
For his encore, Yanni played the much-demanded “Swept Away” from the album “Out of Silence,” which best describes the effect of his music on this audience. The downside of the show? Yanni spent too much time trying to be a “good guy.” It was great that he presented a $ 200,000 check to Richard Gere for Amfar, a non-profit AIDS research group, before the show. Did he really need to present the check a second time in front of his audience?
Still, Yanni’s musical presentation seized and captivated the audience and they responded with a standing ovation.