Amid controversy, BSO, Alsop and Ohlsson deliver in forceful season-opener

Garrick Ohlsson
The Baltimore Sun

At the center of the program was Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” which, for me, fit into the concert’s heroic context because the guest artist is one of my keyboard heroes — Garrick Ohlsson.

With his unfailing musicality, wealth of tone coloring and infallible technique, Ohlsson delivered a memorable account of the “Rhapsody.” The pianist brought startling thunder to the score’s drama, exquisite tenderness to its poetry. Alsop and the scintillant orchestra backed him all the way.

For an encore, Ohlsson definitely added to the evening’s theme with a performance of Rachmaninoff’s well-worn C-sharp minor Prelude that was, in its dynamic range and expressive weight, fully heroic. 
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