Review: Tulsa Symphony’s Borodin, Bartók, Schubert program, gaining fresh relevance during Ukraine war

Posted on: March 10, 2022

“For an evening that had been planned more than a year ago, Saturday evening’s concert by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra was very much of the moment,” writes James D. Watts Jr. in Monday’s (3/7) Tulsa World (OK). “It wasn’t just that principal guest conductor Daniel Hege requested that the audience stand for a performance of the Ukrainian national anthem as well as ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ or that he and the other musicians of the Tulsa Symphony were all wearing blue or yellow chrysanthemums, reflecting colors of the Ukrainian flag. These gestures … provided the audience with a unique way to hear the music that was performed Saturday … The three works … seemed to embody and express the emotional turmoil and uncertainty so many people are facing…. The evening began with the Overture to ‘Prince Igor’ by Borodin, which—coincidentally—is the story of a heroic leader from what is now Ukraine who must confront an invasion by barbarians from the east…. Orion Weiss’ performance [of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3], which Bartók wrote while in exile in the United States because of World War II … was captivating… The Tulsa Symphony’s performance [of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8] … imbued this piece with an even greater resonance.”