Oakland Symphony performs U.S. premiere, plus seldom-heard score

Posted on: November 21, 2016

“Even in his heyday, the middle to late decades of the 19th century, the German composer Joachim Raff was looked on slightly askance,” writes Joshua Kosman in Friday’s (11/19) San Francisco Chronicle. “He turned out operas, symphonies and reams of piano and chamber music that held the stage briefly and then vanished from sight. Both the charm and the flimsiness of Raff’s gift were on ample display in the Paramount Theatre on Friday night, as Michael Morgan led the Oakland Symphony through the composer’s Third Symphony, subtitled ‘In the Forest.’ … Morgan is in the midst of a wonderful multiyear exploration of the ‘Lost Romantics,’ which last season gave us a fascinating symphony by the unknown Danish composer Victor Bendix.… The other major work on Friday’s program was … the U.S. premiere of ‘Dream of a Summer Night,’ a 2012 violin concerto by the German composer Siegfried Matthus, [which was] slim and unpersuasive….  Kelly Hall-Tompkins was a splendid soloist at any rate, bringing soulfulness and expressive warmth to Matthus’ syrupy melodies.… Gershwin’s ‘Cuban Overture,’ boisterously played by members of both the orchestra and the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra—an astonishing 173 musicians packed onto one stage—opened the concert.”

Posted November 21, 2016