Review: Symphony Tacoma premiere of Lash’s “In Hopes of Finding the Sun”

Posted on: May 20, 2019

“It’s a tall order to write a piece of music to pair with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony,” writes Rosemary Ponnekanti in Wednesday’s (5/15) South Sound Magazine (WA). “But that’s exactly the order Symphony Tacoma director Sarah Ioannides made of composer Hannah Lash for the season finale last weekend—and Lash filled the request with music both fresh and timeless…. The upper strings began a delicate waterfall of cascading dotted notes in the world premiere opening of Lash’s ‘In Hopes of Finding the Sun.’ … Lash took Beethoven’s own dotted-note violin lines and turned them backwards: the original short upbeat, long downbeat was now reversed into something more lacy, legato and endless…. Lash plays with a tonality that’s part neo-Romantic English, part early-American dissonance, with a delightfully minor ambiguity that’s perfect for our point in time. Over all this came the choir: Symphony Tacoma Chorus…. Lash’s beautiful poetry … a haiku-like summary of the fire motif in Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy,’ … describes the ineffable joy of soaring, dancing and being consumed by a burning sun…. After 20 minutes of this ethereal, intriguing emotion, Beethoven’s fierce declamations came as the kind of shock they probably were to his 1824 audience.”

Posted May 20, 2019