Concert Review: Pacific Symphony premieres Bolcom’s “Prometheus”

Posted on: November 22, 2010

In Saturday’s (11/20) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed writes, “The Pacific Symphony premiered [William] Bolcom’s ‘Prometheus’ Thursday night at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, with the Pacific Chorale. [Pianist Jeffrey] Biegel was soloist; Carl St.Clair conducted. Bolcom’s score, which is a setting of Lord Byron’s ‘Prometheus,’ has something to say, and the performance said it brilliantly. Biegel’s ambition here was considerable. Money is tight these days, so he got nine institutions (among them the Detroit Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic and the University of Kentucky) to sign on. Four private donors were approached for the underwriting. … The piano is Prometheus, and Biegel began rattling his chains with violent attacks at the lower range of the piano. A grim brass fanfare showed the official power of opposing forces. … St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony have serious Bolcom credibility, having mounted a Bolcom festival and commissioned a major Bolcom score with Plácido Domingo as soloist to open its new concert hall in 2006. The playing and singing were solid and gripping.”

Posted November 22, 2010