Review: Fairfax Symphony gives U.S. premiere of Bodorova’s Symphony No. 1

Posted on: February 11, 2015

“For the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra’s all-Czech program at the George Mason Center for the Arts on Saturday, Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 in G served as a mere appetizer to the U.S. premiere of Czech composer Sylvie Bodorova’s colossal Symphony No. 1,” writes Joan Reinthaler in Monday’s (2/9) Washington Post. “Christopher Zimmerman has championed Bodorova’s music since they were colleagues 20 years ago at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, now the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.… The symphony, my introduction to her music, seemed to fly by. Its 45 minutes of sometimes tender, sometimes brutal and chaotic, but always intriguing textures and rhythmic intricacies made architectural sense, and her immersion into Jewish, Gypsy and occasionally plain-song modalities gave its tonal harmonies an esoterically dark hue. Its four movements, slow-fast-slow-fast, made huge demands on both winds and percussion, and Zimmerman … had both these sections impressively on their toes. Calm, baroque-like canons unfolded beneath off-balance trumpet rhythms in the second movement. Copland-like English horn lines emerged cleanly from long passages of string fog in the third, and the aggressive percussiveness of the fourth movement paused just long enough for a moment of Bach chorale to shine through.”

Posted February 11, 2015