Review: Pacific Symphony and Grand Rapids Symphony at Carnegie Hall

Posted on: April 24, 2018

This weekend at Carnegie Hall “by happenstance, were two regional orchestras—the Grand Rapids Symphony, from Michigan, on Friday; and the Pacific Symphony, from Orange County, Calif., on Saturday—with distinctive programs,” writes James Oestreich in Monday’s (4/23) New York Times. “Both sizable audiences seemed rich with home-state boosters…. The Pacific Symphony, making its Carnegie debut [performed] the New York premiere of [Philip] Glass’s 2006 oratorio ‘The Passion of Ramakrishna’ [led by Music Director Carl St.Clair].… It is a big, beautiful piece, written more or less in the style of Mr. Glass’s Gandhi opera ‘Satyagraha’ (1980), Mr. Glass at his best…. The performance was excellent…. The idea behind the Grand Rapids Symphony’s return to Carnegie, [Vice President for Development Diane] Lobbestael said, was to reintroduce the orchestra, with the Brazilian-born [Marcelo] Lehninger, in his second season as music director, to the national stage and celebrate his early achievements…. Villa-Lobos’s ‘Chôros No. 10,’ a setting of Catulo da Paixão Cearense’s poem ‘It Tears Your Heart,’ was … compelling, and the Grand Rapids forces delivered it handsomely. It seemed a bit extravagant to have brought a large chorus to New York to sing four minutes of a 12-minute piece, but the decision was further justified by the encore, Fauré’s ‘Pavane,’ in its melting choral version.”

Posted April 24, 2018