Concert Review: Spokane Symphony celebrates Lincoln bicentennial

Posted on: March 3, 2009

In Monday’s (3/2) Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington), Travis Rivers writes, “With Michael Daugherty’s ‘Letters From Lincoln’ at The Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox on Saturday, the audience found itself in the presence of a moving tribute to our 16th president. ‘Letters From Lincoln’ was commissioned by the Spokane Symphony with money from the Bruce Ferden Fund for New Music. The performance was recorded by E1 Music for release later this season. The work will be performed this fall in Italy at Milan’s ‘SettembreMusica’ festival and by the Elgin (Ill.) Symphony, which also supported the commission. Unlike Aaron Copland’s widely performed ‘Lincoln Portrait,’ Daugherty’s ‘Letters From Lincoln’ sets only Lincoln’s own words as a song cycle for baritone, not for a narrator. And unlike Copland, Daugherty attempts to show the various facets of Lincoln, the man, rather than painting an ‘official (musical) portrait.’ … Spokane can be proud of Daugherty’s fine new work performed so beautifully by [vocalist Thomas] Hampson, conductor Eckart Preu and the orchestra. Saturday’s audience gave the work and its performers a prolonged standing ovation.”