“The acoustically revolutionized new Robinson Center Performance Hall, part of a $70 million reconstruction of the venerable building, got its baptism by musical fire Saturday night in its inaugural concert by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra,” writes Eric E. Harrison in Sunday’s (11/20) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock). “Music Director Philip Mann, on the podium for the ‘Return to Robinson,’ picked the four pieces on the program to showcase the hall’s brand-new acoustics (kudos to Mark Holden of the Norwalk, Conn., acoustics company Jaffe Holden). Every surface was designed with acoustics in mind…. A stage extension (over the first two rows of seats) moves the string players right out into the hall. The improvement over what the acoustics had become in the old hall [is] absolutely night and day. But moving the strings that far forward may be … at the expense of the woodwinds and the timpani, which … just didn’t come out at the level they should have. The adjustments should be fairly simple, and it’s all fixable in time.” Harrison reviews a performance consisting of Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture, Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Mozart’s “Haffner” Symphony, and Korngold’s Violin Concerto with soloist Philippe Quint.
Posted November 22, 2016