THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

NO CAPTION
Music and Opera reporting on TheaterJones.com is made possible by The University of North Texas College of Music.
Select the link below to discover more.

Review: Spano Conducts Mahler 5 | Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra | Bass Performance Hall


Future So Bright

Robert Spano's work with the Fort Worth Symphony this weekend bodes well for his appointment as Principal Guest Conductor.



published Sunday, March 17, 2019

Photo: Andrew Eccles
Conductor Robert Spano
Photo: Isabel Pinto
Soprano Jessica Rivera

 

Fort Worth — On Friday, Robert Spano, Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony, was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony; he’ll be conducting two programs in each of the three seasons beginning with 2020-21. He is also this weekend’s guest conductor, and judging from the orchestra’s performance under his baton, the decision to bring him around more often is a spectacularly good one.

For this was an orchestra at the top of its game. Imprecision in ensemble and tuning have been the bugbears of this group, but somehow these problems were greatly minimized under Spano. Perhaps it was his preparation of the orchestra, and perhaps it was their response to him. But whatever has happened, it works.

The program was an ambitious one: Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs, with soprano Jessica Rivera, and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. These Strauss songs, written the year before his death, are peaceful meditations on mortality. They require incredible subtlety from the large orchestra, so as not to cover the lone soprano. Friday night, this need for subtlety was especially evident—Jessica Rivera’s voice is in many ways ideal for this repertoire, in both range and timbre, but her sound in Bass Hall was not huge. Still, the orchestra mostly stayed out of her way. Concertmaster Michael Shih’s rich, cantabile solo in the third song, “Beim Schlafengehn,” was flawless. I only wish that Rivera could have done without reading from printed music; her connection to the orchestra and the audience might have been better without it.

The Mahler, a 70-minute musical marathon, was even better than the Strauss. Famously, the symphony begins with a lone trumpet, and it is this crucial solo that sets expectations for all that will follow. On Friday, Principal Trumpet Kyle Sherman set very high expectations, indeed, with crystalline tone, flawless breath control, and thoughtful phrasing. The rest of the orchestra seemed to take its cue from Sherman’s work. Principal Horn Molly Norcross performed ably in her critical solos in the Mahler’s third movement Scherzo. The famous fourth movement Adagietto, scored only for strings and harp, was clean and lovely, with solid intonation and tight ensemble, although it would have benefitted from more attention to dynamics—the louds were plenty loud enough, but the softs weren’t soft enough to create sufficient contrast and drama. Still, this was sublime music, well-played. Similarly, perhaps Spano could have done more to emphasize the remarkable counterpoint that characterizes the fifth and final movement.

On the whole, my quibbles are minor ones. I haven’t heard this orchestra playing at this level in a few years; here’s hoping that each of Robert Spano’s outings with the orchestra will be as good. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Future So Bright
Robert Spano's work with the Fort Worth Symphony this weekend bodes well for his appointment as Principal Guest Conductor.
by J. Robin Coffelt

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Avant Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
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
audiocasts
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
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
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:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
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 :
Submit