Review: SPCO’s season-opener, lead-up to Europe tour in November

Posted on: September 13, 2016

“It has been quite a few days for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. First, on Thursday, came the announcement of a five-city tour to Italy, Germany and Austria in November,” writes Terry Blain in Monday’s (9/12) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “Then, on Friday evening, the 2016-17 season opened at the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul, in an atmosphere of bounding confidence and celebration…. Friday’s concert was fronted by the iconoclastic Moldovan-Austrian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, an artistic partner at the orchestra. Kopatchinskaja will lead November’s tour to Europe and played Prokofiev’s Second Concerto in a performance bristling with bravado, freshness, and a devil-may-care attitude…. A welcome element of balance and restraint informed the orchestra’s approach to Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 [in] a pleasingly nuanced, strongly characterized account of the music, beautifully shaped and shaded from the leader’s chair by associate concertmaster Ruggero Allifranchini. Principal oboe Kathryn Greenbank made gorgeously plangent contributions in the opening movement and was on hand again for the famous solo in the Bizet Symphony’s Adagio, whose sultry, sun-soaked languor was pitch-perfect…. Europe, are you ready? One chamber orchestra, honed, happy, and fit for purpose, is headed in your general direction.”

Posted September 13, 2016