Review: George Benjamin’s “Dream of the Song” soars at Tanglewood

Posted on: July 27, 2016

“In recent summers the Tanglewood Music Center’s Festival of Contemporary Music has been, among many other things, a great place to catch the latest work of the superb British composer George Benjamin,” writes Jeremy Eichler in Tuesday’s (7/26) Boston Globe. On Monday, the Festival of Contemporary Music gave the U.S. premiere of Benjamin’s Dream of the Song, “performed by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra with the conductor Stefan Asbury [and] scored for countertenor, female chorus, and orchestra … comprising six songs [based on] poetic texts from the Andalusia region of Spain.… The composer’s precisely imagined writing for orchestra is a marvel of cool sensuality.… TMC fellow Daniel Moody was the brave and capable countertenor soloist; navigating a challenging choral part, the Lorelei Ensemble … sent up waves of iridescent sound…. Boston Symphony Orchestra audiences will have an opportunity to hear ‘Dream of the Song’ again in February when the orchestra performs it under Andris Nelsons’s baton… ‘Dream of the Song’ was offered on a program with the ‘Turangalila-Symphonie’ by Benjamin’s teacher, Olivier Messiaen…. The TMC orchestra outdid itself, turning in a performance of stamina, finesse, and palpable commitment…. All told, it was an uncommonly jubilant end to this year’s FCM.”

Posted July 27, 2016

Pictured: Stefan Asbury leads the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, George Xiaoyuan Fu on piano, and Genevieve Grenier on ondes Martenot. Photo by Hilary Scott