Concert Review: Eschenbach’s official start with National Symphony

Posted on: October 1, 2010

In Friday’s (10/1) Washington Post, Anne Midgette writes, “Christoph Eschenbach, the National Symphony Orchestra’s new music director, has a cadre of artists with whom he likes to work. In his first season at the NSO—which got underway Thursday night at the Kennedy Center with his first regular-season subscription concert—he is bringing a lot of these artists to Washington. One is the talented German composer Matthias Pintscher—and one of Eschenbach’s favorite pieces by Pintscher is ‘Hérodiade-Fragmente’ (1999) for soprano and orchestra. Eschenbach gave this piece its Carnegie Hall premiere in 2004 and took it on tour with the Philadelphia Orchestra last year. … It fits well on a program with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a work that demands either a whole evening to itself or something strong but shortish as a counterbalance. … What Eschenbach does well is emotion. It was as if he were seeking something beyond these mere technical details. There were certainly moments of pure beauty: The opening of the third movement stretched out like a golden summer, luxuriant and lovely.”

Posted October 1, 2010