Review: Philadelphia Orchestra’s weekly “Digital Stage” concerts

Posted on: November 2, 2020

“Is there a more exquisitely peaceful sanctuary anywhere right now than the virtual one being built, week by week, by the Philadelphia Orchestra?” writes Peter Dobrin in Wednesday’s (10/28) Philadelphia Inquirer. “This week’s ‘Digital Stage’ presentation, led by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, delivers the orchestra’s fifth online concert of the season…. [In] last week’s concert … Vivian Fung’s Prayer brought a stunningly original compositional voice into the orchestra’s repertoire. But the moment that really took my breath away … came between Appalachian Spring and the Siegfried Idyll. Copland, in its delicate 13-player version, had died away. An exterior drone shot lifted up over the Mann Center shed with the Philadelphia skyline close by. And then the serenity of the Wagner began…. The camera move showed off the Mann as a vital urban-sylvan venue [sending] an unmistakable emotional message about everything good in our town.… This week’s streaming of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas, though completed two decades ago, is more relevant than ever.… Leyendas is a finely integrated statement about crossing cultures…. Reaching across borders for inspiration is part of a long classical continuum, a point made by pairing Frank with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, the ‘Italian.’ ”