In Thursday’s (5/31) Wall Street Journal (subscription required) David Mermelstein reviews two world premieres by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Peter Oundjian stepped in to lead the concerts for DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin, who is recovering from surgery. The concerts opened with “a short tone poem by Roshanne Etezady and a violin concerto by Christopher Cerrone —before giving way, after intermission, to … Tchaikovsky’s ‘Pathétique’ Symphony, in a refreshingly unsentimental account. Ms. Etezady’s Diamond Rain,’ inspired by an amusing meteorological phenomenon suggesting that diamonds could fall from Neptune’s skies, emerged as a showpiece of vivid orchestral colors, allowing the players to demonstrate their technical prowess within appealing, occasionally unexpected sonorities.… Mr. Cerrone’s … new Violin Concerto … was written for the Chicago-born violinist Jennifer Koh, a musician of immaculate control, keen intelligence and a slightly cool demeanor … The piece opens with the solo violin calmly ascendant against muted strings, the ambience quickly punctured by disconcerting whispers from the flutes. A range of moods and modes then enter and recede, with the solo line shifting from dizzyingly intense to plaintively soulful and back again.… The orchestra performed these new scores with enviable conviction and confidence.” Jennifer Koh will perform and deliver remarks at the League of American Orchestras’ National Conference, June 13-15 in Chicago; click here for more.
Posted June 1, 2018