Albany Symphony redesigns its Beethoven birthday concert, adds works by Torke and Cuong

Posted on: December 11, 2020

“The COVID-19 pandemic has ruined many celebrations,” writes Bob Goepfert in Wednesday’s (12/10) Saratogian (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.). “One birthday casualty of the 2020 Birthday Club is Ludwig van Beethoven … born in Germany in 1770…. The Albany Symphony Orchestra is determined to honor the composer…. ASO conductor and music director David Allen said the Symphony has modified its planned two-day recreation of one of his major concerts. Instead, on Saturday night they are offering ‘Beethoven Birthday Bash—Forever Young.’ It is being offered virtually … in real time from the Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs … a 750-seat space … built in 1871…. Saturday’s concert [includes] Beethoven’s overture and finale to his 1804 ‘The Creatures of Prometheus’ [and] Symphony No. 1.” Also on the program are Michael Torke’s Ash and Viet Cuong’s Extra (ordinarily) Fancy by Viet Cuong. “Miller points to ‘Ash’ … as a piece that sounds little like anything Beethoven wrote, but he says if Beethoven were around writing in the 1990s, this is something he might have created…. ‘Extra (ordinarily) Fancy’ … a Double Oboe Concerto, [is] a complex piece that Miller claims would sound like Beethoven if the genius had been granted a post-modern era.”