Concert Review: Alabama Symphony premieres Lansky’s “Arches”

Posted on: February 10, 2010

In Saturday’s (2/10) Birmingham News (Alabama), Michael Huebner writes, “To hear the Alabama Symphony these days, you might think they can do no wrong. … Friday’s MasterWorks concert exemplified why they are riding high. It started with a world premiere—composer-in-residence Paul Lansky’s ‘Arches,’ a 9½-minute work for strings alone. Characterized by dense harmonies and slow-moving, nearly minimalist textures, it unfolded with a kind of unexplainable poignancy reminiscent of the Estonian composer Arvo Part. Points of tension and release gave it depth and dynamism. It was the perfect prelude for Peter Lieberson’s heartbreaking ode to love, ‘Neruda Songs.’ … Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (‘Pathetique’) went to heart of the ASO in the Justin Brown era. Conducting without a baton, Brown combined energy with grace, shocking accents with momentum-building tempo shifts. Violas and cellos played with a silken sheen, the brass with power and fullness.”

Posted February 10, 2010