National Symphony’s club-style concerts at Washington, D.C.’s Anthem

Posted on: October 28, 2021

“With fanfare and a 19th-century composer’s reflection on fate, a boisterous National Symphony Orchestra reunited with its casual second home at The Anthem … on Sunday,” writes Olivia Hampton in Tuesday’s (10/26) DC Metro Arts. “The NSO’s concerts at this venue more accustomed to the likes of the Foo Fighters … and Glass Animals aim to [be] more accessible…. Twenty- and thirtysomethings sipped on drinks while taking in Carlos Simon’s The Block and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5…. The NSO’s musicians [wore] casual-cool wear … in tune with the industrial-chic locale…. Bassist Jeffrey Weisner was visibly ecstatic as he introduced his colleagues, [describing] this week’s upcoming program of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé and a co-commission by Angélica Negrón of Puerto Rico [as] ‘some of the most beautiful, and dare I say sexy, music in the classical repertoire.’ … ‘Yes, we actually play music by people who are alive,’ quipped guest conductor Nicholas Hersh. [Simon’s] The Block (2018) responds musically to an eponymous six-panel work created in 1971 by African American visual artist Romare Bearden…. Simon’s work opens dramatically with timpani, bird-like winds, and shimmering strings that evoke the sun rising over the neighborhood before a swooping chorus of horns.”