September 20th, 2019

critic

Glass, Barber, Prokofiev


The new season begins!

Without the title, I wouldn’t have pegged Philip Glass’ new King Lear Overture (inspired by his work scoring last spring’s Broadway production) as Lear-related. Aside from a middle section of madness, it all seems quite jovial. A nice piece, though mainly stock Glass without a lot to recommend revisits.

Then Kelli O’Hara! Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 has long been a favorite, though I don’t think I’ve ever heard it in concert. Studio class once (thus with piano), I’m pretty sure. Kelli is well-suited to it, and she and JvZ pointed up the painterly aspects of both the words and the setting.

After intermission, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet as danced by JvZ. Well, his assemblage from the suites. But he also dances quite a lot. He must be settling in well with the orchestra, because there wee numerous passages of “here’s a downbeat...carry on” that worked out just fine. And the horns continue to benefit from Philip Myers’ absence; the Prokofiev has several passages ready-made for horn clams, and they sailed through them all without incident. I’d say it’s past time to have installed a new principal, but they seem to be thriving as they are.