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Milwaukee Symphony concert a happy marriage of passion and precision

01.31.16
Journal Sentinel

Precision and passion shared a proverbial double bill at Sunday afternoon's Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert.

Guest conductor Hans Graf led the Uihlein Hall concert, bringing decisive musical choices and a calmly communicative conducting style to a program of Eastern European music.

Pianist Orli Shaham joined Graf and the orchestra for Bartok's Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra.

Shaham brought mesmerizing musical expression to the piece, giving clear shape and constant direction to long expressive lines, short interjections and colorful series of chords alike. 

Graf and the orchestra brought wonderfully blended string sounds and a wealth of timbres and textures to the piece, from transparently delicate whispers to brassy, full orchestra roars.

Moving as the performance of the Lutoslawski was, programming the piece at the beginning of the concert opened the afternoon in a dark, heavy mood.

Read the rest of the review here