Type of Review
To paraphrase Lord Acton: where the winds of modern music blow, know that Henry Cowell was there first.

I cannot add further to Maestro Botstein's eloquent words: "Our reasons for performing unfamiliar repertoire is not about searching for lost treasures. We are not on some sort of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, trying to assess rare work by some pre-existing standard of comparative values. We are not in the business of being musical truffle hounds. Rather, we perform Henry Cowell's music, as well as the music on past and future progams of the American Symphony, to show not rarity but the unexpected vastness, quality, and depth of music expression that is available to be heard within the history of music. Our only standard is that it is music to be enjoyed and experienced. The music must have the inspiration and craftsmanship to caputre the attention of those who love to play and/or listen. Not every work will take its place alongside an acknowledged masterpiece, but it doesn't have to. As in other arts, all kinds contribute to an unimaginably large and varied experience, in which anyone will eventually find something they like. For those who restricted their capacity for the joy of music to a few famous works (an unreasonable fragment of cultural history), they may find that repetition of those works will ultimately eviscerate their power to move the listener by eroding the essential reactions of surprise those works inspire....."
Posted on 4 Feb 2010, 6:16 PM
George Rothman led the Riverside Symphony in another musical triumph of old, new and unexpected. The juxtaposition of all these works on the program created a continual element of surprise, of rediscovery, of being startled by a fresh approach to familiar works, or the raw exposure to something new.

The BUSONI Concertino for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra (1918) was terrifically played by Riverside soloist Kay, and the string section supported his virtuosity with steely precision. The world premiere of HAYES BIGGS Symphonica Breva provided a fascinating contrast between the neo-classicism of the previous work, with the classicism of a more astringent kind.The RICHTER String Symphony, showed a glimpse of the "Mannheim" origins of a recognizably "classical style"
The second half of the program ended with a truly superb performance of MOZART's late "Linz" Symphony.
Posted on 13 Feb 2010, 5:32 AM