Nobilimente

Sorry to not have been posting for a bit, will try to catch up in the next few days with some posts about CDs to which I have been listening.

For now, let me briefly note that despite the potentially morale-sapping news coming out of the Philadelphia Orchestra these days, they sounded superb at last night’s concert. I attended so I could hear Sir Andrew Davis, who conducted the premiere of my Songs for Adam with the Chicago Symphony last fall. The program was Mozart and Elgar – Clemanza di Tito overture, 4th violin concerto with Stefan Jackiw, and Elgar 1. Avery Fisher Grant winner Jackiw was very impressive: a slightly cold edge to the sound of his first entrance was quickly replaced by warmth and brilliance. He offered an encore, a remarkably languorous Bach largo.

Elgar is not my favorite composer, but last night’s symphony sounded more like chamber music than movie music. Davis and the Philadelphia traded richness and sheer beauty of sound for the more usual bombast associated with this piece, and formally it hung together better than it usually does.  The subtlety of Elgar’s orchestration was emphasized. Listening from the front of the 3rd tier in Verizon Hall was better than what I have experienced in seats lower down, where the orchestra can sound like it is playing from a greater distance than is actually the case. The program made me more appreciative than ever of how fortunate I was to work with Maestro Davis on Adam.

Hear the Chicago Symphony play “Songs for Adam”

My Songs for Adam, a song cycle on poetry of Susan Stewart, was premiered last fall by baritone Brian Mulligan and the Chicago Symphony with Sir Andrew Davis conducting. Now the cycle is being included on the Chicago Symphony radio broadcast schedule.  Beginning February 12 for 7 days, the concert that included Adam will be broadcast on various radio stations throughout the country. Individual stations set their own times for offering the CSO broadcasts. You can find a list of stations and broadcast times here. Beginning February 15, and continuing for six weeks, the concert will be available for online streaming at the CSO website. You can find an excerpt from the score of Adam at my website. I hope you will have a chance to hear what was a superb performance of the piece.