Recent News
01.13.19
James Conlon
Dull Bruch from Zuk, blazing Bartók from Conlon and New World at Arsht
South Florida Classical Review
01.11.19
Sir Andrew Davis
With conductor Andrew Davis, the BSO considers the big picture
The Boston Globe
01.10.19
Louis Lortie
PIANIST LOUIS LORTIE JOINS THE ROSTER
01.10.19
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING FOUNDER DURING 60TH ANNIVERSARY NORTH AMERICAN TOUR FEBRUARY 1 – MAY 12, 2019
Ailey PressRoom
01.07.19
Teddy Abrams, Inon Barnatan, The Knights
WQXR Presents “19 for 19”: Artists to Watch in the Upcoming Year
WQXR
01.02.19
Ward Stare
Auld acquaintance is not forgotten at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's New Year's Eve concert
KDHX
01.01.19
Marin Alsop, Lawrence Foster, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Mariss Jansons, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers, Emmanuel Villaume, Conrad Tao, Andrew von Oeyen, Inon Barnatan, Daniil Trifonov, Blake Pouliot, Isabelle Faust, Edgar Moreau, Yo-Yo Ma, Alisa Weilerstein, Colin Currie Group , Brooklyn Rider , Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich , Lisette Oropesa, Michelle DeYoung, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Christian Van Horn, Storm Large
Best of 2018
12.17.18
Richard Kaufman
Cleveland Orchestra, Choruses make it feel like Christmas at Severance Hall
Cleveland Plain Dealer
12.17.18
Vienna Boys Choir
Vienna Boys Choir mix it up with a cosmopolitan “Christmas in Vienna”
New York Classical Review
12.14.18
Storm Large
High-energy holidays with Storm Large at the Sun
KDHX

News archive »

CD reviews: SLSO team makes a convincing case for 'Scheherazade.2'

10.21.16
David Robertson
St Louis Post-Dispatch

Violence against women is no modern tragedy. Composer John Adams found that out when he saw an exhibition about the tales of the Arabian Nights — ancient stories in which Scheherazade tells her murderous husband a new tantalizing tale each night for 1001 nights, thus sparing her life a day at a time. The composer, writing in Scheherazade. 2's booklet notes, says he was surprised by how many of the stories included women suffering brutality. 
Borrowing a formula from Hector Berlioz (with a nod to Scherherazade, Rimsky-Korsakov's popular symphonic suite), Adams created a "dramatic symphony," casting the violin as a modern-day Scheherazade — the smart woman who remains fearless in the face of cruelty. Over the course of four movements, no precise narrative is spelled out, yet Adams' descriptive titles and his cinematic music go a long way in unfolding a potent drama, masterfully illuminated by conductor David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
 It begins with a strum of harp strings, the whoosh of winds and the clatter of a cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), as if a brightly colored curtain is swept back, inviting listeners inside. Here, we meet Scheherazade in the form of violinist Leila Josefowicz, a longtime Adams collaborator and courageous champion of new music, who gives a searing performance. She arrives with handsome, sinuous lines but later speaks in spikier gestures. In its lyrical moments, backed by Adams' lush orchestration, the music recalls Samuel Barber's beloved Violin Concerto.
 
The vibrant pulsations that open the second movement, "A Long Desire (Love Scene)," give way to a dreamy oasis of floating strings and flickering winds. Scheherazade enters sweet and high as the music grows more impassioned. Her winding, sensual song, one of the work's highlights, is backed by a delicate scrim of strings."Scheherazade And The Men With Beards," the disruptive third movement, finds our heroine trading arguments with a council of agitated strings, chattering winds and percussion. Her entreaties are mellifluous and articulate, but the opposition overpowers her with snarling brass and thunderous drums.