I went from being jetlagged to being mired in work, so some of the promised follow up pieces on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra tour will have to wait. In fact, my headline might make you think I have the reviews from the China press about the PSO tour, but I don't yet. Actually, I am curious just how review-like they will be as I talked to a music editor in Beijing (he edits an amazing looking glossy mag on classical music) who said there aren't any full-time classical music critics in mainland China. Not that there are a lot left in the U.S., but it could make for less helpful press than the PSO gets when it goes to Europe.
But as we wait for whatever press the PSO got to be translated, here is some domestic reviews that both the PSO and Chatham baroque got recently:
Highly respected Canadian music critic William Littler wrote in the Toronto Star about the PSO and Manfred Honeck after a visit here in May. Nice to see an outside presence confirm what I already have been saying all year about how hot Honeck and the PSO have been so far. More on that later.
Chatham Baroque received a nice review by Peter Jacobi of the Bloomington, Indiana, Herald Times. It is a subscription only access Web site, so I will just excerpt some. Remember that new Chatham Baroque violinist, Andrew Fouts, studied with Stanley Ritchie at IU. The program was 17th century masters of the German Baroque, including lesser known composers:
"Fouts is an extraordinary violinist who, from what one heard Saturday evening at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, not only blends seamlessly with his new colleagues but is able to contribute goose bump-raising solos that can ignite both score and audience reaction.
Certainly among the highlights Saturday were the phenomenal control he exhibited in the breakneck Allegro assai of Bach's Sonata in C Major for Solo Violin, BWV 1005, and the way he produced that bracing mix of the edgy and the mysterious in Heinrich Biber's Sonata V.
In the Biber, he complemented Halverson's virtuosic sawing on the viola da gamba and Pauley's exquisite strumming on the theorbo. Fouts' concertmates are superb exponents of their instruments."