Alsop bustled and prodded, a hive of nervous energy on the podium, driving the drama tautly. Woodwind colour included some occasionally acidic clarinet tone. Alsop drew plenty of nuance in the Adagio, while the Scherzo poked in the ribs before pulling back to a genial pace for the Trio section. The Fourth is at its most rebellious in the finale and the OAE didn’t disappoint, bows clattering percussively, bassoon jabbering raucously, while timpani and brass underlined the punchlines in red.
MARK PULLINGER, BACHTRACH
With Alsop providing calm command, attentive to dynamic shading and rhythmic pulse, the orchestra revealed an expressive vitality that gave even the score’s slowest passages an extra tingle.
TIM SMITH, THE BALTIMORE SUN
Since Alsop arrived at the BSO, pathbreaking composer and Baltimore native Philip Glass finally started to get the kind of attention he deserves in his hometown. The conductor brought his “Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists” into the orchestra’s repertoire on this occasion, a most welcome addition.
TIM SMITH, THE BALTIMORE SUN
Alsop did her part to keep the orchestra underneath the soloists and choir in volume, putting a dynamic focus on the words, often set so impassionately by Mozart as he raced, unsuccessfully, against his own impending death to try to finish the work.
CHARLES T. DOWNEY, WASHINGTON POST
The composer himself revised the score several times, and there have been several attempts to rewrite the text, but Alsop opted to go back to the original; she clearly believes passionately in the viability of the Kaddish, and like her performance of the Jeremiah Symphony, it was superbly played and sung by the LSO and its Chorus, and blazed with conviction.
ANDREW CLEMENTS, THE GUARDIAN
Alsop, a consummate partner in all this, led the orchestra smoothly through the last movement syncopations as though she and Vondracek shared a single mind. Standing ovations are way overdone in this town, but this one was well deserved.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra brought out a colorful assortment of the new and the old for the opening subscription program of the season and served it up engagingly.
Fortunately for Alsop, her followers are both many and devoted, and it was gratifying to see them turn out in solid numbers Saturday evening at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for the BSO’s inaugural New Music Festival.
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. …
THE WASHINGTON POST
Alsop drew out the struggle’s contrasts in a vivid performance that enjoyed meaty playing from the orchestra, especially the snarling brass, and terrific singing by the University of Maryland Concert Choir. Lura Johnson phrased the piano solos deftly.