Geraldine Freedman The Daily Gazette
“(…) After a rousing “Star-Spangled Banner,” the Philadelphia Orchestra under conductor Stéphane Denève opened its 48th season Wednesday night at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. (…) Denève conducted with his customary physically emotive style. The large crowd hooted its delight. (…) Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 in G Major (1889) has four movements of marvelous lyricism infused with Czech folk songs and rhythms. (…) Denève set tempos with great momentum and drama, which brought an expansiveness and lilt to the countless melodies. He also capitalized on the orchestra’s ability to go from feathery delicacy to flexing its muscles at full throttle. Dynamic levels were large and subtle, and he didn’t hesitate to push and pull at phrases. Although everything sounded exceptional, the swirling dance of the third movement and the grand splash of the finale were pretty terrific.”

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