Review: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra world premiere of Cindy Cox’s climate-inspired score

Posted on: May 24, 2022

Composer Cindy Cox at a rehearsal of her new score with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Photo courtesy of Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

“Have you ever wondered what climate change sounds like? Maybe it’s a reverberating crack of breaking ice, or perhaps barreling winds,” writes Sheila Regan in Saturday’s (5/21) Twin Cities Pioneer Press (MN). “These sounds were evoked in Cindy Cox’s new orchestral work, ‘Dreaming a world’s edge,’ premiering with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra this weekend. Inspired by the landscape photography of Thomas Joshua Cooper, Cox’s work captures the majesty of the natural world, particularly in areas traversed infrequently by humans. The music also holds in it a warning—one that thunders with a startling rupture. The piece is one of three presented in an evening featuring Finnish musician Pekka Kuusisto, an artistic partner with SPCO. Kuusisto brought his many talents to the concert, as a conductor, violinist, singer…. The beginning Cox’s work slaps and shakes, with bursts of rhythm. A dread hovers around the music. Eerie slides lead into lumbering brass. Later, melodies saunter in and out of the landscape, with moments of soaring strings and cinematic vibrancy.” Dreaming a world’s edge was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras with the support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Also on the program were Ralph Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending and Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3.