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Falletta and Wilborn Dazzle at Knight Theater as CSO Bookends Unfamiliar Composers with German Brand Names

Mar 24, 2024

Perry Tannenbaum, CVNC -- 

Charlotte Symphony's latest concert pairing, Wagner + Strauss, is logical and cohesive enough, but with the two Germans represented by the "Liebestod" (love-death) from Tristan and Isolde followed by the great Death and Transfiguration tone poem, abundant jollity seemed unlikely at Knight Theater. Wedged between these famed titans of 19th and 20th century music, however, were two lesser-knowns, Richard Strauss's contemporary Oskar Böhme (1870-1938) and American composer Julia Perry (1924-1979). Thankfully, these composers, especially Böhme, lightened things up. Originally scheduled to perform with the CSO in August 2020, renowned conductor JoAnn Falletta returned for her first guest appearance with the orchestra since 2002, and principal trumpeter Alex Wilborn, similarly postponed by the pandemic, made his solo debut in Böhme's Trumpet Concerto.

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