Review: Canada’s NAC Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in music by Glass, Korngold, Lizée, Shostakovich

Posted on: April 11, 2022

“Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra came to Carnegie Hall Tuesday night with … the U.S. premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 13 … a colorful miniature from Nicole Lizée, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, and the [Korngold] Violin Concerto … played by James Ehnes,” writes George Grella in Wednesday’s (4/6) New York Classical Review. “With Alexander Shelley conducting, these were fine performances…. Even with Shostakovich’s sarcastic Ninth and Lizée’s experiment in timbre and form … Glass came off as quirky, mischievous…. The NACO has a crisp, slightly light sound … and this suited all the pieces…. In … Shostakovich’s symphony … the inner slow movements were haunting, and principal bassoonist Christopher Millard’s solo was mesmerizing and deeply expressive, beautiful and upsetting…. There was plenty of energy in Korngold’s concerto…. For an encore, Ehnes and the orchestra played a piece by Yuri Shevchenko that the composer built off of the Ukrainian National Anthem. Shelley [acknowledged] Shevchenko’s tragic death on March 24, from pneumonia. Aged 68, the composer died in a basement in Kyiv as the city was preparing for a possible siege from the Russian army…. Glass’s Thirteenth Symphony … was full of surprises that felt personal, the artist doing what pleased him rather than what might have been expected.”