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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

St. Louis Symphony Receives Critical Acclaim from the New York Times for Carnegie Hall Performance

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 11:04 AM

  • YouTube screenshot.

The St. Louis Symphony made an appearance at Carnegie Hall this past weekend, performing Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes on what would have been the composer's 100th birthday. Critical acclaim followed an extended standing ovation upon the close of the performance, with the New York Times calling the event "as involving as any production you could imagine."

From the review:

In a chorus that builds with dizzying intensity, the villagers cry out for Grimes to be caught and punished. "Him who despises us we'll destroy!" they sing.

I have never heard this chilling scene performed with such vehemence as it was at Carnegie Hall on Friday night, the exact anniversary of the centennial of Britten's birth. David Robertson, conducting the St. Louis Symphony and Chorus and an ideal cast of singers headed by the superb tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, led an extraordinary concert performance of "Peter Grimes."

The impressive chorus (Amy Kaiser, director) and the orchestra, which is sounding great these days under the dynamic Mr. Robertson, its music director, conveyed not just the seething emotions in this climax but also the hint of maniacal glee that runs through the music. Reinforced by slashing chords in the orchestra, the choristers finally called out the culprit by name, singing "Peter Grimes" in a series of ferocious outbursts separated by near-silences, gauged for terrifying dramatic effect by Mr. Robertson.

Watch this video, previewing and discussing the performance, below.

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