Review: Philadelphia Orchestra gives world premiere of “One Land, One River, One People”

Posted on: November 17, 2015

“With the world premiere of One Land, One River, One People by the trumpet player known as Hannibal, the Philadelphia Orchestra gave birth to a substantial crossover piece,” writes George Loomis in Tuesday’s (11/16) Financial Times (London). “Hannibal seems to have produced the kind of work the orchestra bargained for, at least musically: a 40-minute, high-energy oratorio-like composition for two soloists, large chorus and orchestra in three movements (or ‘veils’ as Hannibal calls them) partaking of diverse musical styles. One Land is a ‘creation piece’ in which the soprano soloist represents a divine force and the tenor the newly conceived human race.  … Music lovers of whatever stripes will find far more common ground in Hannibal’s music than in his mysticism. … when Hannibal finds a musical figure he likes, he drives it home incessantly. But there is some lovely writing … Hannibal uses the orchestra resourcefully, even including an instrumental fugue, and the choral writing too is imaginative and full-bodied.  … Conducting combined choirs from Delaware State University, Lincoln University, and Morgan State University, Yannick Nézet-Séguin presided over a stirring performance.” Also on the program were Sibelius’s Finlandia and the 1945 Suite from Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

Posted November 17, 2015