“It’s tempting to describe last weekend’s two Cleveland Orchestra concerts at Blossom Music Center as ‘A Tale of Two Cities,’ the cities in question being London and Paris,” writes Zachary Lewis in Monday’s (7/18) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “The French connection … reigned Sunday night, when Bramwell Tovey conducted colorful favorites by Ravel, Gershwin and Copland…. The program … moved freely between standard European concert hall tropes and an invigorating infusion of American jazz…. The concert saluted and celebrated the 100th anniversary of the creation of the U. S. National Park Service, and Tovey dedicated the performance of Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’ to that occasion, with a word about the music’s evocation of the spacious American landscape…. Tovey also took the occasion to honor retiring principal violist Robert Vernon on the occasion of his last concert at the Blossom Music Center with words that were warm and quite genuine. Tovey and the players dug into Gershwin’s [‘An American in Paris’] with vigor and unity, and gave a performance that was applauded so extensively that Tovey had to lead the players offstage to signal that it was, at last, time to go home.” The Blossom Music Center is located within Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Posted July 19, 2016