In Canada’s National Post on Wednesday (8/20), Arthur Kaptainis writes from Amsterdam, “Another day, another date for [Music Director] Peter Oundjian and the touring Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Well, hardly. This was the Concertgebouw, invariably classed among the Top 10 concert halls of the world … ‘I’ve been playing for 45 years, and I was a little bit nervous,’ confessed percussionist Donald Kuehn. ‘This is like going to Yankee Stadium.’ ‘It’s always on the line when you’re playing in an orchestra,’ commented another veteran, principal flute Nora Shulman, at the stage door. ‘But this was special.’ And so it sounded. … Woodwinds were beguiling both individually and together in Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. Brass playing was at its macho best…Nor was the first half short on pleasure, with James Ehnes giving a warm-toned and technically commanding account of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.” The opening work, Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, “sounded no less lush than it had the week before in [Toronto’s] Koerner Hall.” Upcoming cities in the Toronto Symphony’s European tour, its first in 14 years, include Wiesbaden, Helsinki, and Reykjavik.
Posted August 20, 2014