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REVIEWS: Performances in Cleveland and Boston

21cmediagroup / 2nd March 2018 / News

“So mellow and warm were the strings in the opening Allegro, so full-bodied the brass, Gilbert seemed almost to be showing off the orchestra. Similarly, in the finale, the objective seemed not only to make a bold statement but also to have fun with the orchestra’s quick reflexes, its responsiveness to changes in dynamics, phrasing, and tempo.”
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“Gilbert led a thoughtful if not particularly seductive account of Debussy’s overtly sensual ballet “Jeux.” Far more persuasive was Sibelius’s darkly brooding tone poem “En Saga,” given a wonderfully characterful performance to open the night. One Finnish writer called this music “as simple as a folk song, as gloomy as the forest primeval.” Gilbert shaped those long Sibelian paragraphs of orchestral sound with a lidded intensity, and the orchestra played superbly for him. In the tone poem’s final moments, William Hudgins held the entire hall with a lone, dusky clarinet solo. You could almost hear the icy wind blowing behind the notes.”

Boston Globe
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