Review: Albany Symphony’s four-day, nature-themed American Music Festival

Posted on: June 16, 2016

“It’s hard to imagine a more satisfying wrap-up to the jam-packed four days of events than the program with full orchestra led by music director David Alan Miller,” writes Joseph Dalton in Tuesday’s (6/14) Times Union (Albany, N.Y.; subscription required). At the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s final American Music Festival performance on June 11, “There were premieres from Jessie Montgomery and Loren Loiacono plus a couple of slightly older pieces by Steven Stucky and Aaron Jay Kernis. All of the music was engaging and shapely—nothing too long winded either—and beautifully performed. On top of that, the works complemented each other, making for a thoughtful and coherent evening.” In Montgomery’s Caught by the Wind, an “organic flow of melody coursed through the orchestra.” In Stucky’s Silent Spring, based on the book by environmentalist Rachel Carson, “allegories to pollutants would be easy to identify.… But the music also had a rare mix of transparency and mass.” Loiacono’s Sleep Furiously was “vivid and colorful, though it spoke in her own voice.” Kernis’s Simple Songs, the final piece, “arrived like a gentle benediction.” Soprano Talise Trevigne “sang the ecumenical texts with a ravishing clarity of tone, and the lightest touches of operatic vibrato.”

Posted June 16, 2016