Review: Baltimore Symphony in Beethoven and Wagner at Strathmore

Posted on: February 15, 2022

‘ “It’s been three years, and I can’t stop crying. I feel so lucky,’ [soprano Christine] Goerke said through tears from backstage at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, where she and bass-baritone Greer Grimsley were in rehearsals for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Wagner Opera Spectacular,’ ” writes Michael Andor Brodeur in Sunday’s (2/13) Washington Post. “This is a sentiment that has attended, to some degree, every concert I’ve been to since [the pandemic]…. At Strathmore [for Saturday night’s concert] … ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ and the wrenching final act of ‘Die Walküre’ were preceded by a rousing run through Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8…. Led by James Conlon … the BSO’s artistic adviser … the orchestra sounded full, bright, tight…. The fourth movement … felt both celebratory and strikingly intimate: a party brimming with inside jokes…. In song and onstage, Goerke and Grimsley struck a swift and uncanny chemistry…. It’s no small feat for an orchestra to shift from symphonic acrobatics to the demands of Wagner’s musical dramas…. The BSO turned this test into a treat, the force of the first half finessed by the sensitivity of the second.”