Recent News
12.13.16
Imago Theatre
‘La Belle’: a beauty of a Beauty
Oregon ArtsWatch
12.12.16
Imago Theatre
Imago Theatre's 'Beauty and the Beast' tale gets an eye-popping, locally crafted makeover (review)
The Oregonian
12.09.16
Colin Currie
A striking performance from percussionist Colin Currie
Boston Globe
12.08.16
Colin Currie
Colin Currie brings probing mind and energetic technique to Pickman Hall
Boston Classical Review
12.08.16
Shai Wosner
Beethoven: Complete Cello Sonatas and Variations CD review – here's how to make Beethoven's huge structures work
The Guardian
12.06.16
Johannes Debus, Patricia Racette
A riveting Racette ignites in Met’s “Salome”
New York Classical Review
12.06.16
Wynton Marsalis, James Conlon, Giancarlo Guerrero, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Eric Jacobsen, Mariss Jansons, Ludovic Morlot, David Robertson, Gene Scheer, Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Mason Bates, Silk Road Ensemble , Nashville Symphony , St. Louis Symphony Orchestra , The Knights , Patti LuPone, Georgia Jarman, Ian Bostridge, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, Lucas Meachem, Luca Pisaroni
2017 Grammy Nominees
Grammy Awards
12.05.16
JoAnn Falletta
How the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Hit Its Stride
New York State of Opportunity
12.04.16
Colin Currie
Colin Currie provides the highlight in New World’s program of contemporary German music
South Florida Classical Review
12.01.16
Voces8
Review: VOCES8's "Winter"
Gramophone

News archive »

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

10.20.07
The Washington Post

Exactly one year ago, when the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performed at the Music Center at Strathmore in a program that included two Mozart piano concertos, I wondered here in print whether going it alone in that repertoire was really optimal, given the complexity of the scores and the naturally opposing forces of soloist and orchestra.

Nothing impresses me more than chutzpah, and Thursday night the same forces in the same hall upped the ante considerably, putting on the gargantuan Brahms Piano Concerto in D Minor, this time with Yefim Bronfman riding shotgun. I doubt whether such a thing had been attempted before, anywhere.

Every musician onstage was a consummate professional who relished this unprecedented challenge. The results were impressive -- every Orpheus performance is -- but it was a stunt nonetheless. The head-bobbing required of the concertmaster to commence and maintain the Adagio, for example, made many of us nervous. The brief, intense three-voice canon that precedes the solo entry in the first movement was unbalanced, and there was a distinct sense of the musicians "hanging on to" one another throughout. Even Bronfman was called upon to give cues, and he had his hands full.

The additional tension did not seem to faze him, however; the solo part was spread on a wide, colorful canvas, and the big second-subject solos in the first movement were masterfully built up. Earlier, Orpheus gave sparkling readings of three Brahms Hungarian Dances and Schoenberg's lush Chamber Symphony No. 1.