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DVOŘÁK'S NEW WORLD Picks Up Slack in Symphony Concert

Nov 25, 2019

By Perry Tannenbaum
broadwayworld.com

Sometimes orchestras program pieces to meet popular demand, and at other times, they program works to meet expectations or fulfill a sense of obligation. It's so easy to yield to inertia. This past weekend's Charlotte Symphony concerts balanced both types of choices. The DVOŘÁK'S NEW WORLD SYMPHONY is so popular in the Queen City that an extra row of seats was set up at Belk Theater behind the already-packed Grand Tier.

Four years ago, Warren-Green took the trouble to wade into the orchestra after its NEW WORLD performance and embrace English horn principal Terry Maskin for his playing of the "Goin' Home" theme in Dvořák's lovely Largo movement. Rivas would not have been faulted if he had done the same. The flutes had a sunshiney glint in their frolics, the soft violins wove mystical enchantment, and the brasses and horns added dignity each time they were cued.

Rivas regained - and then retained - his mastery in the awesome Allegro con fuoco, where the Old World can be felt birthing the New World and our fearsome Manifest Destiny marches westward, arrogant and irresistible. ("Get over it!" professed patriots might respond.) The Venezuelan-born conductor beautifully navigated the protean moods, and the orchestra keenly grasped the moment. In the wake of the heraldic brass, the violins burst forth with a vigor that had been missing earlier in the evening, adding new summits of grandeur. When the music grew soft, the woodwinds, especially the flutes, sweetened it; each time the brass and strings rallied, Ariel Zaviezo and his timpani triggered the uprising.

Read the full review on broadwayworld.com.