The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is basking in the glow of positive reviews for its debut performances at both the Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms in Royal Albert Hall, the first leg of its three-week tour of six nations. Geoff Brown of The Times wrote that the orchestra’s program for the 58th Proms showed them “what we have been missing.”
“There’s that almost inordinate precision and sparkle, best experienced in its encore, Bernstein’s ‘Candide’ overture; and an intense clarity of colour and line, so telling in the early stages of Copland’s ‘Lincoln Portrait.’ And how about the sonic ballast, partly fuelled by the muscular buzz of double basses, placed on risers, facing the front?” he wrote.
By the way, it looks like the editors have corrected their initial spelling of our fair city (Cincinatti).
At The Guardian, Rowena Smith’s review of their Edinburgh appearance wasn’t quite as glowing. She observed, “From the white tie and tails worn by the musicians to the choice of programme, which paired classic American works with core Germanic symphonic repertoire, there was a sense of tradition here and adherence to the rituals of the concert hall.”
But she found issue with Charles Dance’s “not always entirely convincing American accent” in Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” — “a splendid bit of morale-boosting hokum.” The performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, she felt, “was a curiously old-fashioned performance, lushly phrased but without great musical insight.”
More as it comes!