Concert Review: De Waart’s debut at Milwaukee Symphony

Posted on: October 1, 2009

“It’s a good trick, really, to play a 70-minute, five-movement symphony and leave your audience wanting more,” writes Elaine Schmidt in Sunday’s (9/27) Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “Yet that’s exactly what occurred on Saturday evening at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s season-opening performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 with the orchestra’s new music director Edo de Waart on the podium. The audience stood, cheered and shouted in response. De Waart and the orchestra brought energy, exceptional clarity and musical purpose to every detail of the monumental piece, delivering thrilling moments at the top of the biggest phrases as well as in the midst of soft, exposed passages. … The musicians of the MSO responded with spectacularly crafted performances, from Mark Niehaus’ ringing trumpet solos to William Barnewitz’s pealing horn lines. The string sections brought exquisite ensemble playing to the performance, turning the tiniest of delicate, exposed phrases in remarkable unison, soaring to an enormous yet elegantly balanced sound elsewhere. … The evening opened with Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, ‘Jeremiah,’ featuring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke.”

Posted October 1, 2009