Review: Manhattan School Chamber Sinfonia

Posted on: January 29, 2009

In Wednesday’s (1/28) New York Times, Steve Smith reviews the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Sinfonia’s Monday-night concert at Zankel Hall. “The program opened with a premiere, ‘A Rush of Wings,’ by Robert Sirota, the school’s president. In an explanatory note, Mr. Sirota described a recent preoccupation with sensations of flying, saying that the new piece was an effort to evoke ‘the wings of the wind’ as cited in several passages from Psalms. Even without that, Mr. Sirota’s goal would surely have been evident in the energetic swoops and airy plummets of his seven-minute piece, fashioned with the clean, angular melodies, tart harmonies, lively syncopations and punchy accents of American Neo-Classicism. … Kenneth Kiesler, the conductor, led a clean, animated account, with fine contributions from Yoonshin Song, the concertmaster, and the brass and percussion sections.” Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Strauss’s Bourgeois Gentilhomme rounded out the program.