Ruth Reinhardt
Music and Opera reporting on is made possible by The University of North Texas College of Music.
Select the link below to discover more.

Review: Remix: Mendelssohn's Italian | Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Moody Performance Hall

Seasons Change

At its first ReMix concert of the season, conducted by Ruth Reinhardt, the Dallas Symphony ushered in a new era.

published Sunday, September 23, 2018

Photo: Harrison Linsey
Ruth Reinhardt


Dallas — Changes are afoot in the Dallas Symphony after the departure of Music Director Jaap van Zweden, and some of those changes were evident Friday during the ReMix casual series concert at Moody Performance Hall.

Photo: WikiMedia Commons
Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz

Led by former assistant conductor Ruth Reinhardt, the orchestra began with Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin. Under van Zweden, the DSO was notoriously shaky in the French repertoire: the delicacy required for Ravel, Fauré, Bizet, and the like was often lacking. But Friday’s concert may represent a sea change under the orchestra’s new leadership. Reinhardt and the orchestra demonstrated a sure command of the Ravel, as did Principal Oboe Erin Hannigan—Le Tombeau is a double reed showpiece. Tempo in the first movement especially was a bit faster than usual, but ensemble stayed precise, and Reinhardt shaped phrases with care.

Next up on the brief, intermissionless program was Grażyna Bacewicz’s Concerto for String Orchestra. The decision to program this piece might be reflective of another change: this is the first piece by a woman that the orchestra has performed in a couple of seasons. However, the DSO recently named Julia Wolfe its composer-in-residence, and at least 10 compositions by women will be commissioned by the orchestra over the next decade as part of its “Women in Classical Music” initiative.

Bacewicz, a Polish composer who lived from 1909 to 1969, studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, and was concertmaster of the Polish Radio Orchestra. Bacewicz was writing in a neoclassicist style when she composed this piece in 1948, but rather than playing with conventions of melody in the Concerto for String Orchestra, she seems to be experimenting with tonal color and texture. The three-movement piece is in a conventional fast-slow-fast form, and begins with a pesante, rustic effect, then adds more legato, lyrical solos in the cello and violinwell played by Christopher Adkins and Nathan Olson, respectively—and harmonics in viola. It’s a novel mix of elevated and earthy.

The final piece on the program was the crowd-pleasing “Italian” symphony of Felix Mendelssohn. In the joyful key of A Major, Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony is a happy romp through the Italian sunshine. The DSO’s violins wowed in the tricky first movement, with impressively tight ensemble and plenty of sparkle. A few intonation issues in both strings and winds and some rushing in the fourth movement didn’t diminish the overall effervescent effect.

There was lots of clapping in between movements, which was a hint that these ReMix concerts are having the desired effect of bringing new audiences to hear the DSO. Between the lower ticket prices and the shorter performance times, not to mention the included snacks and drinks (yay for the Aperol Spritzes and local craft beers, a big step up from past offerings!), these concerts are attracting crowds who are clearly not regular classical concertgoers. And the hall was mostly full, too, a feat on a rainy, stormy evening.

 Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
Seasons Change
At its first ReMix concert of the season, conducted by Ruth Reinhardt, the Dallas Symphony ushered in a new era.
by J. Robin Coffelt

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :