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Shaham Plays Barber with the BSO

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Charles T. Downey, At Strathmore, BSO’s Americana optimism
Washington Post, September 24, 2012

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Barber / Korngold / Walton, Violin Concertos, J. Ehnes, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, B. Tovey
At the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s first subscription concert of the new season, heard at Strathmore on Saturday night, the orchestra played a program of classic Americana with grace and power. The music, from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, all sounded much the same, a reminder of the era before serialism and experimental composition had taken over classical music.

The symphonic suite from the film score for Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront” was the first offering. It includes some of Leonard Bernstein’s most polished and searing music — from the suite’s plaintive opening horn solo and lonely wail of the saxophone, through the savage intensity of its percussion-driven fast sections to its fragile love theme massed into a raging surge. Conductor Marin Alsop led a convincing performance throughout. [Continue reading]
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Gil Shaham, violin (Violin Concertos of the 1930s)
Music Center at Strathmore

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