“Trust the Proms to think big,” writes Ivan Hewett in Wednesday’s (7/18) Telegraph (London). “Why offer just one of the world’s great conservatoire orchestras when you can offer two, drawn from different sides of the Atlantic, fused together in one heart-warming display of youthful talent? Which is exactly what the fourth Prom gave us. The combined orchestras of the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Juilliard School in New York made a wonderful impression of open-handed extravagance on the Albert Hall stage. … The conductor John Adams was clearly enjoying himself as much as the players. Reckless intensity is what one expects from young players, and one could certainly feel it in the big serenade-like violin melody in ‘October’ [section from Respighi’s Roman Festivals], which cut through the Albert Hall like a ray of hot Mediterranean sun. But this orchestra was amazingly strong in depth, too. In Respighi it was the principal horn Francisco Gomez Ruiz who impressed; in the Ravel Piano Concerto which followed it was clarinettist Liam Burke. He flung out his solo in the finale with gleeful panache, but overall the … orchestra played with delicate tact, just right for the soloist Imogen Cooper.” Adams’s own City Noir rounded out the program.
Posted July 18, 2012