Concert Review: Chicago Symphony premieres “Songs for Adam”

Posted on: November 2, 2009

In Saturday’s (10/31) Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein reviews the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Thursday program, led by Andrew Davis, featuring “the world premiere of James Primosch’s intriguing and beautiful new song cycle, ‘Songs for Adam,’ to lift the evening beyond the ordinary. It’s unusual for an orchestra to commission both the music and poetry for a vocal work, but that’s what the CSO did when it invited Primosch, a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, and Susan Stewart, a prize-winning poet and English professor at Princeton, to create a sequel to Primosch’s 2002 song cycle, ‘From a Book of Hours,’ which the CSO also commissioned and premiered. … I cannot imagine a more compelling interpreter than Brian Mulligan, a young American baritone who has sung with the Metropolitan and San Francisco operas. … Davis and the orchestra surrounded the vocal part with telling atmospheric detail. Primosch and Stewart were present to share in the audience’s warm reception.” Also on the program were Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks” Concerto and Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony.

Posted November 2, 2009