Excited PSO has 'desire to play very well' on its tour
The centerpiece of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's European tour is its four-concert residency at the famed Musikverein in Vienna, which began Monday night.
Music director Manfred Honeck started the concert with American music: Steven Stucky's 2012 composition “Silent Spring,” which was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony. The program continued with George Gershwin's Piano Concerto, featuring Rudolf Buchbinder as soloist, and Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World.”)
“I think it went really well. The audience loved it,” said principal flutist Lorna McGhee. “We had to do two encores. Manfred looked really happy at the end.”
The Stucky was very well received, according to principal bass Jeff Turner, who said the Musikverein was packed to the back of the standing-room area. “The audience was quiet and appreciative. There were a couple of curtain calls, and the composer took a bow.”
He thought the Musikverein's famous acoustics served Stucky's music well, particularly passages with impressionist sonorities.
“I love playing in the Musikverein because it gives you back so much good response, and there's the sense, and I don't think it's an illusion, that you're hearing what the audience is hearing. You're in the same space, acoustically,” he said.
The warmth of Turner's appreciation of the hall's acoustics was shared by McGhee.
“It's a most stunning sound in the hall. It's the first time I've played in it. I've played in the other hall (in Vienna), the Konzerthaus,” she said. “The Musikverein's sound is so golden. I was not playing in the piano concerto, so I listened to the rehearsal. The orchestra sounded really incredible. The strings especially had a gorgeous, warm, warm sound and beautiful blend.”
Morale is high, according to Turner. “There's not just excitement within the orchestra, but a real desire to play very well for this tour. It's a big thing.”
“Every performance is unique,” McGhee said. “We do the things we rehearse every concert, but each concert is a little bit different. The slow movement (of the Dvorak) had a beautiful atmosphere to it tonight, I thought. There was a particularly nice hush when we got to the end of that movement. It was pretty dramatic, too.”
The tour opened in Barcelona on Thursday and continued with concerts on Friday and Saturday in Madrid.
The Barcelona concert of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) was praised by two Spanish music critics.
Javier Pujol, writing in El Pais, described the performances as brilliant, stunning and spectacular, and said it was followed by endless applause.
A memorable night of great music was rewarded with nearly 15 minutes of applause and bravos, according to Cesar Lopez Rosell in El Periodico. He praised the orchestra's strength in each of its sections in addition to the full ensemble's homogeneity.
Mark Kanny is classical music critic for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man dies after jump from Route 130 overpass onto passing tractor-trailer in Hempfield
- Husband of accused drug-dealing teacher faces his own drug, intimidation charges
- Man awaiting trial for offering drugs to 2 teens found hanged in his Belle Vernon home
- Pa. Supreme Court upholds special prosecutor investigating AG Kane
- Monessen police investigating drive-by shooting
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Poll shows Clinton slipping in trustworthiness among voters
- Pittsburgh settles second car wash drug-bust lawsuit
- Reliever Holdzkom among three players cut by Pirates
- Harmar eagles abandon their nest
- NFL players Fitzgerald, Donald to lead Pitt in Blue-Gold spring game