- Denis Kozhukhin Impresses in Prokofiev’s ‘War Sonatas’
Seen and Heard International
- KUOK-WAI LIO RECEIVES AVERY FISHER CAREER GRANT
Avery Fisher Artist Program
- JAMES CONLON OPENS THE 2013 FESTIVAL DE SAINT-DENIS CONDUCTING TWO CONCERTS OF BERLIOZ’S L’ENFANCE DU CHRIST IN HONOR OF SIR COLIN DAVIS WHO WAS SCHEDULED TO CONDUCT THE WORK
Shuman Associates Inc
- Review: Powerful reading of Mozart Requiem opens May Fest
- Review: May Festival reaches heavenly heights with 'War Requiem'
- Pianist Shai Wosner finds Schubert’s dark side
The Washington Post
Jon Kimura Parker
- Jon Kimura Parker Takes on Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev & Stravinsky
- OPUS 3 ARTISTS SIGNS ALEXANDRE THARAUD
Sir Andrew Davis
- Review: Philharmonia Orchestra, St David’s Hall, Cardiff
Sir Andrew Davis
- Philharmonia Orchestra, St David's Hall
South Wales Argus
Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and Chorus give brilliant performance
Cleveland Plain Dealer
By Mark Satola
At Sunday night's concert by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and Chorus in Severance Hall, there were moments when this reviewer had to remind himself that he was not hearing a professional orchestra, but rather high school students.
Such is the level of artistry that COYO music director James Feddeck has brought during his tenure, which began in 2009. Credit also must be given to the Cleveland Orchestra members who coach COYO's individual sections. Ultimately, it's the players -- and singers, under Frank Bianchi and Lisa Manning -- who must take the lion's share of credit for an evening of brilliant and exciting music.
Two demanding masterworks were on the program: Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" and Carl Orff's cantata "Carmina Burana," in an abridged version.
"Scheherazade" is the crowning masterwork from Rimsky-Korsakov's annus mirabilis for orchestral music, appearing in 1888 along with the "Capriccio Espagnol" and the "Russian Easter Overture." The suite, inspired by "One Thousand and One Nights," is anchored by the "voice" of storyteller Scheherazade, portrayed Sunday night by co-concertmaster Brandon Garbot, who played the violin with expertise and expression far exceeding his years.
The orchestra played with eye-opening passion in Rimsky-Korsakov's steamy score. Feddeck demanded much of his players, and they met each challenge with aplomb.
The surging waves of sound in "The Sea and Sinbad's Ship," the delicate filigree and exacting drive of "The Tale of Prince Kalendar," the deep melancholy and jaunty janissary rhythms -- finely executed by COYO's percussionists -- of "The Young Prince and the Princess" and, finally, the dramatic finale, driven by Feddeck at a hair-raising clip, were accomplished beautifully.
The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus joined the orchestra for the second part of the concert, in selections from Orff's "Carmina Burana." Orff's scenic cantata has been heard perhaps overmuch in Cleveland in the past few years, but its appeal to a wide audience cannot be denied. Two things come to mind when hearing this season's youth chorus. The first is the group's remarkable clarity of diction. Every word was cleanly etched, perfectly understandable and sung with precision. COYC's sound is also remarkable: lighter, cleaner, free of the heavy vibrato that plagues some American adult choruses.
The evening's vocal soloists, baritones Justin Caithaml and Jaired Birks, were both admirable. Caithaml was supple and subtle in his brief evocation of springtime's sun, and Birks found the right balance of suffering and hope in his prayer for love, though his fine voice was sometimes overwhelmed by the orchestral accompaniment.
The orchestra shone here, too, navigating Orff's modernistic writing and tricky instrumental effects with ease. One looks forward with anticipation to its May concert, when the group undertakes a meaty program including Barber's Essay No. 1 for orchestra and Respighi's "The Pines of Rome."