A slew of glowing reviews began pouring in following the Seattle Symphony's performance of Debussy, Varèse, and a New York premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean by John Luther Adams. The Symphony's banner-waving entourage of more than 700 patrons joined contemporary music enthusiasts of New York in giving the black-and-blue-clad Seattle Symphony a standing ovation.
Photo: Brandon Patoc Photography, brandonpatoc.com
The New York Times called the performance "rich with shimmering colors and tremulous energy. The engagement of the musicians with this work, and with Mr. Morlot, came through in every movement."
Many new-music aficionados in particular took notice of this concert, given the modern repertoire. Bachtrack observed that "this is an orchestra as at home in the old as the new." Alex Ross, author of The Rest Is Noise and music critic for The New Yorker, wrote on his blog of the same name that the Symphony's repertoire and brilliant performance "caused a sensation."
Even the Financial Times took notice, admitting this concert was "not business as usual," not even by Carnegie Hall standards. "It...was a wonderful concert, imaginatively planned and brilliantly executed," critic Martin Bernheimer wrote. "Although the ambience may have been folksy-casual, the repertory and performances reflected rare sophistication."
Classical KING FM's Program Director Bryan Lowe and Afternoon host Dave Beck were on hand to host the concert and take in the excitement, which they attested was palpable from the musicians' airplane to the hotel and all the way to the stage.
"If you've never been [to Carnegie Hall,] it's rather on the small side but elegant in an old European theater kind of way," Lowe said. "We had box seats, second tier center, so we had a great view of the crowd on the first floor below. They were so excited and so supportive!
"SSO Bass clarinetist, Larry McDaniel, told me he had some doubts the huge orchestra would fit, but the stage is larger than you'd imagine. Four harps and an amazing array of percussion instruments on top of the already large SSO and there was room to spare!"