&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
29th February 2016

MacMillan percussion concerto, Elgar’s ‘Enigma’ fuel hot night at the BSO

An Anglo-Saxon-Scot lineup of works packed with brilliant ideas and expressive depth fueled a hot concert from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Thursday night at Meyerhoff Hall.

The East Coast premiere of James MacMillan’s Percussion Concerto No. 2, co-commissioned by the BSO, would alone have made the program worthwhile….

A surprise encore found Currie joined by a contingent from OrchKids, along with BSO percussionist Brian Prechtl and Alsop, all hammering and clanging away for a few, fun, hard-driven minutes….

Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations capped the program. Alsop’s second musical home has long been Britain, so it’s not surprising that she has picked up an affinity for the music of its composers.

She approached this orchestral gem from 1899 with a keen eye on the architecture, a keen ear for its myriad orchestral coloring, and a keen appreciation for its personal content (each variation references someone close to Elgar)….

TIM SMITH, THE BALTIMORE SUN

29 FEBRUARY, 2016