Concert Review: Graf conducts last concert as Houston Symphony music director

Posted on: May 21, 2013

In Saturday’s (5/18) Houston Chronicle, Steven Brown writes, “During the goodbye ceremony Friday night before conductor Hans Graf’s last program as the Houston Symphony’s music director, one of the players gave him a going-away present: a replica of the manuscript of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. Those facsimiles are pricey, so it was a nice gift. It was also a fitting one: Graf and the orchestra performed Mozart’s 40th at the start of May, as he launched his final three weeks of concerts. That served notice of the buildup that Graf engineered in his last programs: Mozart’s turbulent 40th two weeks ago; then Beethoven’s dynamic and brooding ‘Eroica’ Symphony last weekend; this weekend, as the finale, Gustav Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony, which is writ even larger in its tragedy, lyricism and ultimate triumph. Seventy-five minutes long, scored for a supersized orchestra plus chorus, the ‘Resurrection’ gave Graf his biggest musical canvas of all. He and the orchestra seized every inch of it Friday. From start to finish, it was a vivid, colorful performance. … It was a ringing sendoff for Graf.”

Posted May 21, 2013