&ldquoAs Alsop faced the cellos and drew from them the most tremendously shaped phrases with every inflection of her baton, you were aware of being in the presence of greatness.&rdquo
Musicomh.com
18th June 2017

BSO 2016/17 season finale

Well-packed with crowd-pleasers, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s final program of the season could have been just an autopilot affair, a safe way to wrap things up for subscribers until September. It turns out to be anything but routine…

Music director Marin Alsop and the BSO could not have asked for a more eloquent soloist for the noble Beethoven work than Gil Shaham. He drew a veritable feast of tone coloring from his violin, along with abundant subtleties of phrasing…

Alsop and the orchestra really seemed to breathe with the soloist, ensuring a fully cohesive performance that was also notable for the sensitivity of the ensemble’s playing…

Saint-Saens’ Third Symphony, popularly known as the “Organ” Symphony for its majestic use of that instrument, can’t deliver its full impact at the Meyerhoff until an honest-to-goodness pipe organ is installed there…

The organ part is just one element, of course, in this sumptuous, imaginatively structured symphony, which Alsop conducted from memory. She lavished care on the gentle introduction to the first movement and continued to shape the score with an ear for inner details.

Alsop drew gorgeous playing from the strings in the slow movement, vivid work from winds and brass in the scherzo and finale.

TIM SMITH, THE BALTIMORE SUN

16 JUNE, 2017

 

With the last concert of their season at Strathmore on Saturday, music director Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra put together a crowd-pleasing program that sent the audience into the summer riding a musical high…

At times Alsop favored understatement and sought profundity where there was none to be found. (For organ purists scoring at home, the BSO used a rented digital instrument.) But the performance hit its stride in the propulsive passages, and in the finale, Alsop and the orchestra embraced the work’s garish eccentricity to make a triumphantly glorious noise.

SIMON CHIN, THE WASHINGTON POST

18 JUNE, 2017